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March 14, 1895. 



Slnibcrsitg ^rcss. 






The Diary of John Rowe, a Boston merchant, inchides the 
period from Sept. 8, 1764, to July 15, 1779, with three breaks in 
it, — one from Aug. 17, 1765, to April 10, 1766, another from 
June 1, 1775, to December 24 of the same year, and the third 
from Nov. 19, 1776, to Aug. 12, 1778. The missing volume 
which makes the second break was, according to his memoran- 
dum in the next volume, " mislaid or taken out of his store " ; 
' e other two breaks are supposed to have occurred since his 
.. ith. The Diary is paged continuously, the last page being 
numbered 2493 ; and as this page completes a volume, it is 
likely that later volumes have disappeared. 

The Diary is owned by Mrs. Anne Rowe Paj^son, grand- 
niece of John Rowe, being granddaughter of his brother Jacob 
who lived in Quebec, and daughter of John Rowe, — the 
"Jack" Rowe, mentioned often in the Diary, who at the age 
of seven years was adopted by his uncle, arriving in Boston 
Oct. 19, 1772, shortly after his arrival being sent to Rev. Mr. 
Nicholl's school at Salem, and later (that school being broken 
np soon after the battle of Lexington) removed to the school 
of Rev. Phillips Payson at Chelsea.^ The owner of the Diary, 
Mrs. Payson, and her only descendant, Mrs. Anne Rowe 
Cunningham, live on the Milton estate of Governor Jonathan 
Belcher, which passed from the Belchers to John Rowe, the 
Boston merchant. Here the Governor had lived in what he 
described in his letters as his "cave," "wigwam," "little 
cottage," and " lowly cottage." This was burned in 1776, and 
the present house was built shortly after.^ 

1 This John Rowe was born in Quebec, July 26, 1765 ; was a graduate of Har- 
vard College in 1783, being a classmate of Harrison Gray Otis and William 
Prescott; married in Gloucester, April 26, 1792, and died at his home in Quincy, 
very near the Milton line. May 24, 1812. He lived in Gloucester for a while, and 
represented that town in the House of Representatives for the years 1796-1805 
(except for the year 180;3) and Essex County in the Senate for the year 1806. 

2 Teele's History of Milton, pp. 109-114, 512, 514, 516; Bejcher Papers, 6 Col- 
lections, vol. vii. pp. xvi, note, 416, 418, 549. 


This Society has published journals or letters relative to 
affairs in Boston covering a part of the period (1764-1779) 
included in Rowe's Diary, among others: Timothy Newell's 
Journal, April 19, 1775 -March 17, 1776, 4 Collections, 
I. 261-276; Ezekiel Price's Diary, May 23, 1775 -Aug. 17, 
1776, Proceedings, November, 1863, 185-262; Letters of 
John Andrews, Feb. 24, 1772 -April 11, 1776, Proceedings, 
July, 1865, 316-412; Thomas Newell's Diary, Jan. 1, 1773- 
Dec. 22, 1774 ; Proceedings, October, 1877, 334-363 ; Letters 
of Rev. Andrew Eliot, April 25, 1775 -Feb. 19, 1776, Proceed- 
ings, September, 1878, 280-306 ; Benjamin Boardman's Diary, 
July 31 -Nov. 12, 1775, Proceedings, May, 1892, 400-413; 
and Jabez Fitch, Jr.'s, Diary, Aug.5-Dec. 13, 1775, Proceed- 
ings, May, 1894,40-91. Other journals and memoirs concern- 
ing the period are cited in the " Memorial History of Boston," 
III. 154, note. 

The other printed diaries above referred to cover a briefer 
period than Rowe's; and their authors, or most of them, have 
a standpoint different from his. Several of them, like Rowe, 
have much to say of the weather; but that part of his record 
is omitted in this summary. Rowe himself, without being an 
acute observer of men and events, was an intelligent merchant ; 
and while we could wish he had reserved a part of the space 
which he gave to the ever-recurring names of persons whom 
lie met at dinners and clubs for a record of the opinions they 
expressed, still there remains much which illustrates the public 
and social life of Boston at this eventful period. 

The purpose of this paper is to call attention to interesting 
points in the Diary, and to give a general knowledge of its 
contents, which may perhaps be of service to other inves- 
tigators of local and general history. I have classified the 
miscellaneous facts and experiences which the diarist states, 
submitting also a copy of so much of his record as relates to 
the contest with Great Britain both before the Revolution and 
during a considerable part of it. I offer as an excuse, if one 
is needed, for some incidents and details which have been 
thought worthy of mention, that the newspapers of the period 
confine themselves mostly to grave documents, telling us but 
very little of wliat was going on in the life of the people. 

At the time Rowe's Diary begins, — in September, 1764, — 
the British government was just putting in force its scheme of 

1895.] DIARY OF JOHN ROWE. 13 

taxing the Colonies for the purpose as avowed of " defraying 
the expenses of defending, protecting, and securing the same." 
The Sugar Act, which imposed duties not only on sugar and 
molasses but on other articles hitherto exempt, had been passed 
the previous spring. Otis's pamphlet on " The Rights of the 
British Colonies asserted and proved " had been issued. In 
May and during the summer and autumn, protests against the 
new policy were being made by the Boston town-meeting and 
the General Court. The Stamp Act was to follow the Sugar 
Act in less than a twelvemonth. Rowe's Diary thus opens at 
the initial stage of the Revolution. 

The Diary comprises the period of the imposition of the 
new and hated taxes, the passage and repeal of the Stamp Act, 
the Boston massacre, the throwing overboard of the tea, the 
beginning of civil war at Lexington and Concord, the siege of 
Boston, the evacuation by the British troops, and the visit 
of the French fleet to the town. The battle of Bunker Hill 
occurred during the period included in a lost volume. 

Boston was, at the period covered by the Diary, a town of 
sixteen thousand inhabitants, — about the present population 
of Northampton, or Quincy, in this State, and Concord, New 
Hampshire, or Burlington, Vermont. 

John Rowe was born in Exeter, England, Nov. 16, 1715, 
and died in Boston, Feb. 17, 1787. His grandfather Jacob 
Rowe (though the suggestion has been made that he was a 
great-uncle) held in Exeter the offices of steward, receiver, 
sheriff, and mayor, holding the last-named office in 1712. 
Jacob and John Rowe, brothers, emigrated to America, the 
date of their coming not known ; the former going to Quebec, 
where he became commissary-general, and John coming to 
Boston. The latter was here as early as 1736, when he was 
only twenty-one years old, as he purchased that year a ware- 
house on Long Wharf. This early purchase indicates that he 
brought considerable means with him ; and, besides, he contin- 
ued to own property in his native city till his death, bequeath- 
ing it to his relatives who remained behind. The family is 
not now traceable in Devonshire. 

John Rowe's portrait, at the supposed age of twenty-five, is 
in the possession of his grand-niece Mrs. Payson, and has been 
reproduced in F. S. Drake's "Tea Leaves." His costume as 
there shown is that of a gentleman of the period. 


Rovve and his wife were doubtless buried (though no record 
of interment is preserved) in his vault under the first Trinity 
Church, a wooden building ; and the vault is not supposed to 
have been disturbed by the subsequent construction of the 
stone edifice. The vaults were being cleared at the time of 
the fire of 1872 ; and the remains found in Rowe's are probably 
among the " unknown " which were then removed to the 
Trinity Church tomb in Mt. Auburn Cemetery. 

John Rowe was married in 1743 to Hannah Speakman, who 
survived him eighteen years, dying July 9, 1805, at the age 
of eighty.^ Her sister was the first wife of Ralph Inman, 
the Cambridge Loyalist, with whose family Rowe continued 
always to be very intimate. The sisters are said to have been 
twins. Rovve bought in 1764 the estate on the north side of 
Pond Lane, now Bedford Street, where he lived till his death, 
and where his widow remained till her death. The year after 
his purchase he pulled down the house he found standing 
there on the north side of the lane, and built a new one, 
into which he moved Oct. 16, 1766. His record of that day is : 
" Slept this night for this first time in our new house, which is 
a very good, handsome, and convenient house." Another 
entry, April 3, 1767, is: " The Governour and his son came to 
see our new house this afternoon." This house with grounds 
about it was sold in 1817 by Rowe's heirs to Judge William 
Prescott;^ and here he and his son the historian lived. It 
was demolished in 1845. A picture of it is given in the quarto 
edition of Ticknor's " Life of William H. Prescott." Rowe 
owned a considerable tract, measuring nearly three acres, 
known as " Rowe's Pasture." Without attempting to define 
its limits accurately, it may be said in a general way that it 
extended from Bedford Street to Essex Street, with Washing- 
ton (then Newbury) and Kingston streets as western and 
eastern limits, not, however, touching Washington Street at 
any point, and small lots belonging to other people perhaps 
jutting in here and there. On tliis ample tract he raised, as 
his Diary sliows, crops of hay and vegetables, and pastured 
sheep and cattle. He owned houses and lots on the south side 
of Essex Street as well as in other parts of the town ; and one 

' A portrait of Mrs. Rowe is in tiie possession of Mrs. Charles Amory, Jr., 
of Boston. 

2 Sliurtleff's Topographical and Historical Description of Boston, p. 409. 


1895.] DIARY OF JOHN ROWE. 15 

of his wharves still bears his name. He owned property in 
other towns, — Dighton, Plymouth, Maiden, Medford, Glouces- 
ter, Milton, Hardwick, Stoughton, Grafton, Shelburne, Deer- 
field, and also in Hartford and Woodstock, Connecticut. 

Rowe became one of the foremost merchants of Boston. 
The " Massachusetts Centinel," in noting his death, calls him 
"an eminent merchant of this place." John Adams ^ names 
him among the very rich men with whom he had been ac- 
quainted in the way of business, placing him among those 
who had acquired wealth by their own industry, — unlike 
Hancock, Bowdoin, and Pitts, who had acquired it by descent 
or marriage. His ships traversed the ocean, and ran along the 
coast. One of them carried Josiah Quincy, Jr., to Charles- 
ton, South Carolina, in February, 1773. His whaling-sloop 
" Chagford " goes out April 14, 1767 ; and his sloop " Polly " 
comes in, Sept. 5, 1771, with 150 barrels of oil. He bought, 
May 6, 1765, " a cargo of coals of two gentlemen from New- 
berry." His imported merchandise was miscellaneous, meeting 
the wants of the people of that day. We get glimpses of what 
it was here and there. On May 31, 1765, his " warehouse fell 
in with fish." He dealt largely in salt. On July 3, 1767, a 
quantity of silk stockings, ribbons, Spanish silk, and Indian 
and English taffetys were stolen at night from his store. The 
British troops, when evacuating Boston in March, 1776, took 
from him " linens, checks, cloths, and woolens," goods of the 
value of 2260 pounds sterling. Mrs. Commodore Hood visited 
his store, Dec. 8, 1768, and bought twenty-four yards of super- 
fine silk. A vessel (probably Rowe's) arrives, July 22, 1767, 
from Madeira with seventy pipes of wine. Governor Hutchin- 
son's accounts 2 show a purchase, July 19, 1770, of Rowe of a 
quarter cask of port- wine for eight pounds. He was the owner 
of one of the tea-ships, though in history less is said of his cargo 
than of Francis Rotch's, which arriving first was the first to be 
dealt with. Until the conflict between the Colonies and the 
mother country became one of force, he was largely purveyor for 
the English fleet, which was rarely absent altogether from the 
harbor. He was one of the Proprietors of Long Wharf, — that 
ancient corporation in which leading merchants like Hancock, 
Winslow, Oliver, Wells, and Boutineau were shareholders. 
He was also one of the Proprietors of Point Shirley. 

1 Works, ii. 29G. 2 Diary and Letters, i. 77. 


Rowe enjoyed excellent health. He makes the entry, Nov. 
27,1773: "This day is my birthday. I am fifty-eight years 
old. I am at present very hearty and strong, but in my knees 
rather feeble. I bless God for all his mercies to me " ; and 
again, Nov. 27, 1778 : " This day I am sixty-three years old, 
and I am, thank God, very heart}', though my limbs fail me 
at times." One of his generous way of living had occasion- 
ally need of medical remedies, of which an emetic was the 
one most frequently resorted to. He records, April 18, 1773 : 
" The doctor has made an apothecary shop in my stomach," — 
a method of treatment whicli, in connection with a remedy of 
his own selection, " a little Geneva of mint," brought the 
desired relief. He " hurted " his leg, July 25, 1772, on a 
fishing-excursion. Dr. Heron was his attendant, and, the 
patient improving too slowly. Dr. Peterson was called in. 
The doctors were unable " to dry up the wound," and a month 
after the injury it was " dressed with tincture of myrrh." 
One record (that of June 13, 14, 1769) gives us reason to 
prize that then unknown friend of the human race, — anaes- 
thetics: "I went to bed much afflicted with toothache. . . . 
Sent for Dr. Lloyd to have my tooth drawn ; had not resolu- 
tion to go through the operation." 

Mrs. Rowe, like her husband, enjoyed good health. He 
records, Aug. 4, 1776 : "This is Mrs. Rowe's birthday. She 
is this day fifty-one years old and very hearty and well." She, 
however, met once (July 15, 1774) with a severe accident in 
town, when, as she was returning from a funeral, the horses 
took fright and ran, and, the carriage being upset and herself 
thrown out, she became unconscious. Her case was thought 
critical for some days. Dr. Lloyd administered " annidine 
drops," and he was assisted by Dr. White. Relatives and 
friends, not hired nurses, watched with the patient. In a week 
she had much improved ; and her husband, whose daily entries 
speak of her as "my dear, dear Mrs. Rowe," wrote: "She is 
growing better, for which I and all her friends rejoice." Her 
husband left her a large part of his property, with full power 
to dispose of it by will. 

Rowe's sentiments in relation to the controversy with Great 
Britain were those of a moderate, holding in this respect the 
same position as that of his relatives, intimate friends, and the 

1895.] DIARY OF JOHN ROWE. 17 

mass of his fellow-merchants. He was a puhlic-sph'ited citizen, 
and wished well to his town and colony, no one more so. He 
was as strongly opposed as any to the new restrictions on trade 
which the parent country had put in force, and generally he 
was not in sympathy with its repressive policy.^ He served 
on committees appointed by the town or by merchants to set 
forth the grievances of the Colony, sometimes willingly and 
sometimes not so willingly. He was a member of a committee, 
Sept. 18, 1765 (Otis, chairman), to express the thanks of the 
town to Conway and Barre for "their noble, generous, and 
patriotick speeches " in Parliament, and served on similar com- 
mittees, April 21, 1766, Dec. 4, 1767, and March 14, 1768,— 
the last being appointed for a recognition of John Dickinson's 
" Farmer's Letters." He served on a committee, Dec. 18, 1765 
(Samuel Adams, chairman), to protest against the shutting up 
of the courts; on committees, Nov. 20, Dec. 17 and 21, 1767, and 
June 15 and 17, 1768, to instruct the representatives ; on a com- 
mittee, Oct. 28, 1767, of which he was chairman, to prevent 
importations, particularly of foreign superfluities, and encourage 
domestic produce and manufactures ; on a large committee, 
June 14, 1768, to wait on Governor Bernard with a petition 
for the redress of grievances ; and on a committee, September 
12 of the same year, to wait on the Governor and inquire as 
to the reported coming of troops to Boston, and to recommend 
measures required in the emergency. He signed, Sept. 14, 
1768, as one of the selectmen, an address to other towns, pro- 
testing against Bernard's dissolving the General Court and 
against the taxes levied by Parliament. He was chairman of 
a committee, in June, 1779, to fix the prices of merchandise, 
and to bring to punishment offenders against the Act prohibit- 
ing monopolies and forestalling.^ As chairman of a merchants' 
committee, he signed, June 22, 1779, in its behalf a communi- 
cation to Congress, testifying their patriotic devotion, and 
reprobating the attempt of " sordid and unprincipled wretches " 
to depreciate the paper currency by which independence had 
been almost secured, and " to force a currency of gold and 
silver on its ruins." This document also expresses " anxiety 

1 S. G. Drake, in his " History of Boston," p. 657, states Rowe's signature to a 
petition to the General Court as early as Dec. 17, 1760, charging tlie Crown offi- 
cers with appropriating to their own use money derived from forfeitures. 

2 Independent Ciironicle, June 24, 1779. 



for the security of that important staple, the fishery," as 
the main support of the future commerce of the Northern 
States. Congress, on receiving the petition, passed a resolu- 
tion of thanks, July 27, 1779, which was communicated to the 
committee by Elbridge Gerry, James Lovell, and Samuel Hol- 
ten, then members from Massachusetts. 

Rovve, however, while considering the conduct of the British 
government impolitic and harsh, was indisposed to carry op- 
position beyond argument, appeal, and protest; and at no time 
did he favor measures looking to forcible resistance and inde- 
pendence. His position is misconceived when he is classed with 
the " Patriots," — the party who supported separation from 
the mother country, and had in view the use of force outside of 
law to promote that end.^ Towards Samuel Adams and Wil- 
liam Molineux he was not well affected, as his Diary shows. 
He was, however, prudent enough to keep up pleasant personal 
relations with both sides. He did not join the patriotic 
exodus from Boston when the siege began, preferring to remain 
in order to protect his property.^ This may have counted 
against him with the Patriots ; for when after the British evacu- 
ation he proposed to join in the ceremonies for the interment 
of Dr. Warren, a brother Mason, he encountered rude treat- 
ment from the populace, and found it prudent to withdraw. 
His close relations with the family of Captain John Linzee, an 
English navy officer, must have made him an object of suspicion. 
The popular feeling was, however, soothed in time by his amiable 
manners, the good offices he freely distributed among his towns- 
men, his active service on a relief committee, and his general 
usefulness as a citizen ; so that before peace was reached he 
was elected a representative to the General Court. The loot- 
ing and pillaging attending the close of the British occupa- 
tion, in which he was a sufferer, must have sensibly cooled his 

1 Tin's error is found in Frotliinghani's " Siege of Boston," p. 23 ; John Adams's 
Works, ii. 158, note ; F. S. Drake's " Tea Leaves," p. 60. Gordon, in liis History, 
1. 209, says Rowe was "a niercliant who liad been active on the side of liberty in 
matters of trade," — a statement which, limited to "matters of trade," is true 
enough. S. G. Drake's "History of Boston," p. 700, note, citing an anonymous 
memorandum, gives currency to tlie absurd imputation that Howe led the mob 
in the assault on Hutchinson's house. Hutchinson himself may have thought 
(Diary and Letters, i. (57) tliat the class of merchants to whom Rowe belonged had 
stirred up violence against tlie Crown officers. 

'^ He seems, however, to have applied, April 28, 1775, for a pass to go out with 
his effects, which was for some reason refused. 

1895.] DIARY OF JOHN ROWE. 19 

attachment to the country of his birth. He is very cautious 
in his Diary about revealing himself even to himself, perhaps 
apprehensive that as one volume had unaccountably disap- 
peared, others might fall into the hands of the public, — a fate 
which befell the letters of some of his distinguished friends. 

The words " who knows how tea will mingle with salt 
water?" ^ said to have been spoken by Rovve in the Old South 
Meeting House on the evening of Dec. 16, 1773, with a view 
to instigate the destruction of the tea, must, in the light of his 
Diary, be regarded as apochryphal. The only authority for 
the statement is an anonymous writer,^ who half a centur}'' 
after the transaction interviewed survivors of the period, some 
of whom spoke from personal knowledge and others from 
report only. They disagreed as to the number of ships and 
the wharf where the ships lay, and some of them were chary 
as to the information they gave. This writer's account bears 
intrinsic evidence of untrustworthiness. 

Rowe was childless ; but his house was well filled with 
young people, — his wife's nephews the Speakmans, her 
nephew George Inman (and his cousin John Inman) and 
her nieces Sarah and Susanna Inman. The last-named was 
adopted by him, and called familiarly " Sucky " in his Diary.^ 
Born March 23, 1754, she married, Sept. 1, 1772, at the age 
of eighteen. Captain John Linzee, then commanding the Brit- 
ish warship " Beaver," brother of Captain, afterward Rear- 
Admiral, Robert Linzee, and also of Admiral Samuel Hood's 
wife.^ He had been an habitue for three years at Rowe's 
house, where she was living. Rowe was very fond of her, 
and the day after her marriage gave her husband written 
authority to draw on him every New Year's Day for twenty 

1 F. S. Drake's "Tea Leaves," Ixiii ; Memorial History of Boston, iii. 49. 

2 Niles's " Principles and Acts of the Revolution," pp. 485, 486. 

3 Sarah died, Sept. 14, 1773, after a brief illness. George's career is elsewhere 

* Rowe's Diary states that Robert and John were brothers. See also " The 
Dictionary of National [English] Biography " under " Samuel Hood, Admiral, 
Viscount." It should be mentioned, however, that the traditions of Captain Jolm 
Linzee's family do not agree with the statement of Rowe's Diary that he was the 
brother of Admiral Robert Linzee. 

The late William Amory, of Boston, owned the portraits of Captain John and 
Mrs. Linzee, his grandfather and grandmother, and also of Mrs. Linzee's parents, 
Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Inman; and they remain with the Amory family. 


pounds sterling ; and his will, as well as his wife's, provided 
liberally for her and her children. Three days after her wed- 
ding he records : " Capt. Linzee sailed this forenoon and carried 
my dear Sucky with him ; I wish them happy together." Ab- 
sent for nearly three years, they arrived in Boston Easter 
Sunday, April 16, 1775, in the " Falcon," which he was then 
commanding, bringing with them their first-born, Samuel Hood 
Linzee, the future admiral, born Dec. 27, 1773. Rowe brought 
the three to his house the same day. Linzee was just in time 
to take part in the first armed conflict of the Revolution. On 
April 19, 1775, Rowe records: "Capt. Linzee and Capt. Col- 
lins in two small armed vessels were ordered to bring off the 
troops to Boston, but Lord Percy and Generall Smith thought 
proper to encamp on Bunker Hill this night." The fact of 
this order has escaped the attention of historians. Linzee had 
also on the 20th an engagement with the American troops 
below Cambridge bridge. 

Mrs. Linzee and her child remained for the next nine months 
with Rowe, or with her father then living in town, — her 
husband while active on duty being with her from time to time. 
He was at Rowe's house at dinner and for the evening on the 
day before and the day after the battle of Lexington, and was 
there each day till his next sailing, May 1, from Boston ; and now 
and then till after the siege his presence at Rowe's house is re- 
corded. ^ He commanded, June 19, the " Falcon," one of the six 
vessels which cannonaded the American works on Bunker Hill. 
He sailed, Jan. 20, 1776, in the " Falcon " for England, taking 
his wife, his son, and infant daughter Hannah, born in Boston, 
and also his brother-in-law George Inman. Later he commanded 
the "Pearl " ; and after the war, as commander of the " Pene- 
lope," he was in Boston Harbor, Sept. 9, 1790, and applied 
to Governor Hancock for permission to enter the harbor with 
his ship, offering to fire a salute and expecting one in return. 
Hancock's answer is not known, but it was certainly one of con- 
sent ; for it appears that the " Penelope " sailed from Boston, 
September 17, leaving, however, its commander behind, " lying 
very dangerously ill of a fever at his house in this town." ^ He 

1 Linzee's name appears as being at Rowe's April 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23. 24, 25, 
26, 27, 28, 29, 30, Dec. 27, 28, 1775 ; Jan. 2, 7, 11, 14, 1776. Rowe's Diary from 
May 30, 1775, to Dec. 25, 1775, is missinj;. 

'^ Massaclmsetts Centinel, Sept. 18, 17'JO. 

1895.] DIARY OF JOHN ROWE. 21 

recovered, and resumed his command. His wife with her 
children about this time made her way to Boston, and occupied 
a house on Essex Street, bequeathed to her by Rowe, subject 
to his wife's Ufe estate, whence, according to a letter of her 
husband, still preserved,^ there was an open walk across the 
field to Mrs. Rowe's house on Pond Lane. Linzee resigned 
his commission in 1791, and joined his wife in Boston. She 
died a year later, at the age of thirty-nine, the mother of nine 
children. He removed to Milton, to a house near the bridge 
over the Neponset River, where, according to tradition and 
Samuel Breck's " Recollections," he lived an eccentric and 
lonely life, dying, in 1798, at the age of fifty-six. His eldest 
son, the admiral, has descendants in England, not however 
bearing his name. His other children remained in this coun- 
try ; and some of their descendants bearing his name live in 
or near Boston. From Captain Linzee's eldest daughter, born 
in Boston, descended a branch of the Boston Amorys, one 
of whom became the wife of William H. Prescott, grandson 
of Colonel William Prescott ; and thus in the historian's de- 
scendants is united the blood of combatants on opposite sides 
on the memorable June 17, 1775. Their swords crossed are 
a possession of this Society. 

Rowe held various trusts and offices. He was treasurer of 
the Charitable Society, and spent many evenings at its meet- 
ings. From 1750 (his connection with the order began some 
years earlier) till his death he held high offices in the Masonic 
fraternity, and in 1768 became Grand Master of the order in 
North America. The lodge in Boston suspended its regular 
meetings April 19, 1775, till it was called together in 1787 
to attend his funeral ; and a few months afterwards it resumed 
its sessions. 

Rowe often served by the choice of town-meetings on im- 
portant business committees (Aug. 26, 1765 ; Jan. 7, May 7, 
1766) ; was once at least moderator (March 30, 1774) ; served 
as one of the fire- wards, whose meetings he often mentions ; 
was sometimes overseer of the poor ; and was selectman for the 
years 1766, 1767, and 1768, declining a re-election in March, 
1769. He was a candidate for Representative at the election 

1 Some of Captain Linzee's letters are in the possession'of his grandson John 
W. Linzee, of Boston. 


in May, 1765, when he failed, receiving 238 votes, — James Otis, 
who was chosen, receiving 388, and the other successful can- 
didates, Thacher, Gushing, and Gray, a still larger number. 
At the special election in September, 1765, for filling the va- 
cancy caused by the death of Oxenbridge Thacher, there was 
no choice on the first ballot, — the vote being Samuel Adams 247, 
Kowe 137, John Ruddock 110, and John Hancock 40. Adams 
was chosen on the next ballot, and this was the beginning of 
his legislative career. The next May, Rowe, who had 309, was 
defeated by Hancock, who had 437, — Otis, Gushing, and Adams 
receiving each between six and seven hundred.^ The story is, 
as told by Gordon in his History ,2 that Adams promoted the 
election of Hancock, saying, when Rowe's name was mentioned 
for the place, and pointing at the same time to Hancock's house, 
" Is there not another John that may do better?" This piece 
of gossip, which has been much copied,^ is quite untrustworthy. 
It is not unlikely, however, that Adams threw his influence 
against Rowe, not thinking him earnest enough for the work 
in hand, or perhaps piqued by his rivalry at the special elec- 
tion. Rowe was again unsuccessful in 1767, when he re- 
ceived only 134 votes ; and he was not afterwards a candidate 
for a considerable period. He was, however, chosen a mem- 
ber for the years 1780-1784. As a member in 1780 (being 
chosen also at the election in October), he took part in 
the inauguration of tlie State Gonstitution. He failed of a 
re-election in 1781, when there were several candidates, Sam- 
uel Adams heading the list ; but Adams, already chosen a 
Senator, elected to go to the higher chamber, and at a special 
election (June 12) Rowe received 300 out of 394 votes cast.^ 
Why Adams, chosen a Senator a few weeks before, was placed 
on the Representative ticket, particularly as his subsequent 
choice between tlie two offices shows that he did not wish to 
go to the House, is not easily understood. Rowe as a Repre- 
sentative moved, March 17, 1784, the restoration of the " God 
Fish " to its former place in the State House as the symbol 
of an important industry. The removal of this relic to the 

^ Drake's " History of Boston," p. 719, is in error in stating Rowe's election at 
this time. 

2 I. 142. 

8 Jolin Adams's Works, ii. 1.58, note; Wells's "Life of Samuel Adams," i. 111). 

** Adams's biographer, Weils, does not refer to this double election, only men- 
tioning his election as Senator. 

1895.] DIARY OF JOHN HOWE, 23 

new legislative chamber, March 7, 1895, has revived his 

Rowe was greatly interested in Trinity Church, connecting 
himself with it somewhere between 1741 and 1744, — probably 
in 1743, at the time of his marriage, when it was only eight years 
old.i Late in that year he bought pew 82, as appears by the 
records. His wife's relatives the Speakmans appear to have 
been connected with it from the first. The subscription list, 
open from 1741 to 1744 for its organ, bears his name with 
twenty pounds annexed to it. He was chosen a vestryman in 
1760, and conthuied to be one till his death, except for one or 
two years (1776-1777), when he was warden. He became a 
communicant in 1766. He was from the first a generous giver, 
and for most of the time of his connection with the church he 
contributed a larger sum to its funds than any one else. He 
was rarely absent from both Sunday services, except when ill, 
or troubled in spirit, or the barber failed to come ; notes always 
the text, which he copies at length ; follows closely the ser- 
mons, which he remarks upon as " very clever," " very ele- 
gant," " most excellent," " delightful," " sensible," " serious," 
"very polite," "pathetic and moving," "metaphysical," or 
" well delivered." He has much to say of parish affairs, — 
Mr. Banister's ejectment suit against the church (Dec. 31, 
1764 ; Jan. 2, Feb. 18, March 19, 1765), being appointed (Jan. 6, 
1765) on the church committee in relation to it ; the cracking 
of the church's bell (March 6, 1774), which was given a few 
months later (October 2) to a sister church in Norwich, Conn. ; 
the collections for the poor at Christmas (<£400 8s,, old tenor, 
Dec. 25, 1773) ; the raising of the minister's salary (April 5, 
1765) ; the new organ in 1770 (October 5 and December 9) ; 
the proposed alteration of the church (July 26, 1772), as to 
which he regrets to see the gentlemen so indifferent ; the 
convention of the Episcopal clergy (June 17, 1767); the death 
of Rev. William Hooper, who expired instantaneously in his 
garden, April 14, 1767, " to the great grief and sorrow of his 
people and the loss of his family," whom Rowe calls his own 
" most valuable and worthy and never to be forgotten friend"; 
and the contribution of <£253 for "good Mrs. Hooper," May 
13, 1770. Rowe writes, on the day of the funeral, April 17 : 

^ The manuscript records of Trinity Church have assisted in filUng out the 
Diary as to Rowe's connection with it. 


" After church returned to the house of mourning, and I 
endeavored to give comfort to the bereaved family: I intend 
to be their friend." The only mention of the great Boston 
artist comes a few days later, in the entry of April 23 : " Mrs. 
Hooper went to Coply's to have her picture drawn, as did 
Capt. Dalton [of Newberry] and wife." 

Rowe was the intimate friend of the successive ministers, 
Hooper, Walter, Parker, and of their families as well. Their 
evenings, particularly Sunday evenings, were often passed at 
his house. He " smoaked a pipe," June 11, 1765, with Mr. 
Hooper. Mr. Parker, in recognition of his uniform kindness, 
named a son for him ; and Rowe, in recognition of the friend- 
ship, bequeathed a legacy to the father and an estate on 
Pond Lane to the son, his namesake. He was a peacemaker, 
composing differences between ministers, as when Mr, Walter 
on one occasion took umbrage at some behavior of Mr. Hooper 
(July 13, 16, 1765). The clergy would have a sunnier life if 
all parishioners were as friendly critics of their sermons as was 
he, — when, for instance, he wrote, Aug. 15, 1773, " Mr. Walter 
shines more and more in his preaching," and, a week later, "he 
is so good a man that my pen cannot describe his virtues." 

Now and then a stranger clergyman appears. On June 9, 
1765, " The Rev Mr. Cooper, President of the Colledge at 
New York, preached." The record for May 10, 1772, is, 
" Mr. Thompson of Scituate read prayers and preached [in the 
morning and the afternoon]. . . . Both these sermons were 
honestly designed but very lengthy." 

Nearly a year after Mr. Hooper's death, April 4, 1768, Rev. 
William Walter was chosen unanimously his successor,^ with 
a salary of 156 pounds sterling, and a gratuity of 50 pounds 
sterling for the year to Mrs. Hooper. 

Rowe took especial interest in the calling of new ministers, 
and a good voice seems to have been an essential requisite in a 
candidate. Dec. 7, 1772, "a young gentleman from Andover," 
who had been recommended for assistant, "read prayers in the 
church this morning to several of us that we might judge of 
his voice, and I think he has a pleasant and agreeable voice." 
Oct. 5, 1773, Rev. Samuel Parker of Portsmouth read several 
chapters privately in the church to " the gentlemen of the 

1 The " Memorial History of Boston," iii. 128, implies an immediate succession. 
A. H. Chester's " Trinity Church," published in 1888, contains a similar error. 

1895 ] DIARY OF JOHN EOWE. 25 

vestry " to show what his voice was. He was found to have 
" a good voice," and to read " with propriety ; " " was much 
hked," and the wardens and vestry "were all of them for him " 
as assistant (October 7, 10). He sailed for England, Nov. 6, 
1773, for ordination, and arrived home May 16, 1774. Rowe's 
record for May 22 is that he then " preached for the first time 
from 123*^ Psalm and the 1"' verse a sensible, good discourse, 
and very well delivered for his first time of preaching." 

The parting of the ways was at hand. Mr. Parker informed 
the wardens and vestry, July 18, 1776, that he could not with 
safety perform the entire service as before, that he was inter- 
rupted the previous Lord's Day when reading the prayers for 
the King, and that he had received threats of interruption and 
insult in case of a repetition, and was fearful of damage to the 
church ; and he desired counsel and advice. The wardens and 
vestry decided (the proprietors concurring), as the only alterna- 
tive for shutting up the church, in view of the temper and 
spirit of the people, to request the minister to omit the part of 
the liturgy which related to the King ; and Mr. Parker acted 

Mr. Walter left for England in 1776. The proprietors, 
April 10, 1776, invested Mr. Parker, the assistant minister, for 
one year with all the powers of incumbent minister. Three 
years afterwards they voted, June 13, 1779, after correspond- 
ence with Mr. Parker, that "■ tlie church has not an incum- 
bent minister, 12 yeas, 4 nays." Two of the proprietors, Colonel 
Hatch and Mr. Bethune, withdrew before the vote. A week 
later Mr. Parker was chosen incumbent minister at a salary of 
three pounds sterling a week ; and after some reflection on the 
propriety of taking the place in view of his friendly relations 
with Mr. Walter, he accepted, July 25.i Some idea of the 
condition of the church shortly after the siege had ended may 
be had from Rowe's entry May 26, 1776: "Mr. Parker 
preached a well adapted and good discourse. I staid at the 
sacrament this day, about fifty communicants." The proprie- 
tors of King's Chapel proposed, April 4, 1776, in view of the 
financial difficulty in keeping both churches open, a united 
service at the Chapel for both churches, with Mr. Parker as the 

1 The " Memorial History of Boston," iii. 129, says that " Mr. Parker became 
rector soon after the war," which is not strictly correct. A. H. Cliester's 
*' Trinity Church," p. 11, lias the same error. 



minister; but Trinity Church (Rowe being chairman of the 
committee) declined to suspend their own services. 

Rowe, while a loyal Episcopalian, was observant of what 
was going on in other denominations, sometimes attending 
their special services, as the installation of Rev. Samuel Blair, 
in Dr. Sewall's Meeting House, Nov. 19, 1766, where Mr. 
Pemberton prayed and Mr. Blair preached ; the ordination of 
Rev. Simeon Howard at the West Church, May 6, 1767, where 
Dr. Chauncy preached, and " before and after the ceremony 
there was an anthem sung " ; the preaching of an Indian 
minister, Mr. Oatum (Aug. 22, 1773), at Mr. Moorhead's, the 
Presbyterian church in Long Lane, afterwards Federal Street ; 
the election sermon of Rev. Mr. Shute of Hinghani (^May 25, 
1768), — "a very long sermon, being an hour and forty min- 
utes." The entry July 9, 1766, is : " This morning about five 
of clock the Rev^ Dr. Mayhew died much lamented by great 
numbers of people." These seem to have been the best days 
of the Quakers in Boston, who had had a place of worship in 
the town for more than a hundred years. Rowe notes, July 21, 
1769: "This afternoon Mrs. Rachel Willson, the famous Quaker 
preacher, preached in Faneuil Hall to at least twelve hundred 
people ; she seems to be a woman of good understanding." 

A very interesting religious event of this period in Massa- 
chusetts was the visit of the most renowned evangelist of 
modern times, George Whitefield. These were his last days ; 
he was to sleep in the land he loved so well ; and his sepulchre 
is where his voice was last heard calling sinners to repentance. 
He came to us in the midst of great excitement on public 
affairs ; and it is pleasant to think of him that our fathers had 
his sympathies, and that in the last letter he is known to liave 
written, just a week before his death, he said feelingly: " Poor 
New England is much to be pitied, Boston most of all. How 
falsely misrepresented ! " Whitefield came from Wrentham to 
Boston Aug. 14, 1770. He preached at the old North Church 
the 15th, at Dr. Sewall's the 16th, at Dr. Eliot's the 17th, at 
Mr. Pemberton's the 18th, at the New North (Dr. Eliot's) the 
20th, at Dr. Sewall's the 21st and 22d, at the New North the 
23d, at Dr. Sewall's the 24th, at Cambridge the 27th, at 
Charlestown the 28th,i at the Old South the 29th, at the New 

1 Tyerman's " Life of Whitefield," ii. 5'.)2, reverses the dates at Cambridge and 

1895.] DIARY OF JOHN EOWE. 27 

North the 30th, at Jamaica Plain the 31st, at Milton Septem- 
ber 1st, at Roxbury the 2cl, at the Old booth the 3d ; and on 
the 4th he set out for Portsmouth. The Diary does not give 
a record of services on August 19th, 25th, and 26th.^ Rowe 
heard him twice, on August 16th and 24th, and notes the text 
on both occasions, saying of the first sermon (text Zechariah 
ix. 12, 1st clause), "I liked his discourse," and of the second 
(text St. Matthew xxii. 11-13), "This was in my opinion a 
clever discourse." His entry Sunday, September 30, is, 
" The Rev"^ Mr. Whitfield died suddenly this morning at New- 
berry, much lamented." His death was at 6 a. m., probably 
oi angina pectoris ; and a special messenger must have been 
despatched to carry the intelligence to Boston.^ 

Among the pageants of the town, funeral ceremonies were 
the foremost. Those of eminent clergymen and lawyers and of 
civil or military ofiicers drew a multitude of spectators. Rev. 
Dr. Mayhew was buried July 11, 1766, — a day when the ther- 
mometer stood at 90°. Besides a long procession of men and 
women on foot, preceding and following the remains, were 
fifty-seven carriages, of which sixteen were coaches and char- 
iots, — Dr. Chauncy making the prayer and many clergymen 
attending. Similar rites accompanied, April 17, 1767, " the 
mournful funeral of Rowe's worthy and much lamented friend," 
Rev. Mr. Hooper, with " a great concourse and multitude of 
people attending the solemnity hardly to be conceived, ... so 
great at the [Trinity] church that a great many gentlemen and 
ladies could not get in. . . . Rev'^ Mr. Walter preached a very 
pathetick and moving discourse." " A great concourse of 
people attended the funeral " of the Rev. Mr. Moorhead, Dec. 6, 
1773. The funerals of Captain Hay of the warship " Tamar," 
March 23, 1773, and particularly of Lieutenant-Governor An- 
drew Oliver, March 8, 1774, combined civic and military pomp, 
— coaches, chariots, solemn music, Hancock and his Cadets, the 

^ His bioijraplier, Tyerman (ii. 592), says that lie preached at Maiden the 19th 
and at Medford on the 26th. Neither he nor the Boston newspapers take note 
specially of his preaching on the 25th. 

- Rome of the clergymen were not well affected towards Whitefield's theology 
and metliotls. This was the case with "Rev. Nathaniel Robbins of Milton, who 
refused to admit Whitefield to his church ; and the latter preached in the open air 
on Milton Hill, in front of the house which was the former home of Williiim 
Foye, provincial treasurer, under an elm which stood till the storm of 185L 
Teele's " History of Milton," pp. 116, 117. 


firing of minute-guns, and the presence of officials of high rank. 
Henry Vassall's funeral at Cambridge, March 22, 1769, is de- 
scribed as "a very handsome funeral and a great number of 
people and carriages." But the most august rites in honor of 
the dead accompanied, Sept. 12, 1767, the burial of Jeremiah 
Gridley, the great lawyer of the Province, father of the bar of 
Boston, master and guide of John Adams in legal studies, 
Grand Master of the Masons (Rowe being then Deputy Grand 
Master). Preceding the remains were the officers of his regi- 
ment and one hundred and sixty-one Masons in full regalia and 
bearing the symbols of the order ; and following them were the 
Lieutenant-Governor, the judges and James Otis as bearers, 
then relatives, lawyers in their robes, gentlemen of tiie town, 
a great many coaches, chariots, and chaises, with " such a mul- 
titude of spectators as Rowe had never before seen since he had 
been in New England," After the interment the procession 
returned in the same order to the Town House, whence the 
body had been taken at the beginning. Ptowe remarks of the 
display: "I do not much approve of such parade and show; 
but as it was his and his relations' desire, I could not well avoid 
giving my consent." 

Notwithstanding the Act of 1750 prohibiting " stage plays 
and other theatrical entertainments," our fathers found ways 
of amusing themselves with public exhibitions which sometimes 
came almost if not quite within the statute. There was, Oct. 26, 
1764, an afternoon " show at the White Horse which was a 
very faint representation of the city of Jerusalem ; in short tis 
a great imposition on the publick." March 13, 1765, Rowe 
" went in the evening over to Gardner's to see the Orphan 
acted, which was miserably performed, about 210 persons 
there." Sept. 15, 1767, he " spent the evening at Blodget's 
in seeing Hinds, the ballance master, perform ; he is but a 
clumsy hand." March 23, 1770, he " went in the evening to 
the Concert Hall to hear Mr. Joan read the Beggars Opera 
and sing the songs ; he read but indifferently, but sung in 
taste ; there were upwards one hundred people there." The 
legal restrictions imi)Osed by a Puritan State were suspended 
during the British occupation. These are some of Rowe's 
notes: Dec. 29, 1775, "The Busy Body acted tonight"; 
Jan. 22, 1776, " This evening the tragedy of Tamerlane, 

1895.] DIARY OF JOHN ROWE. 29 

to which was added the Blockade of Boston/ was performed 
at Faneuil Hall" ; Feb. 24, 1776, " Last evening the Wonder 
of Wonders was acted and generally approved off." 

The town was not without musical entertainments. Jan. 5, 
1768, at Joseph Harrison's in the evening, " Mr. Mills of 
New Haven entertained us most agreeably on his violin ; 
I think he plays the best of any performer I ever heard." 
March 16, 1769, " Spent the evening at the Fife Major's 
concert at Concert Hall ; there was a large and genteel com- 
pany and the best musick I have heard performed there." 
Jan. 3, 1771, " Spent the evening at Concert Hall, where 
there was a concert performed by Hartly Morgan and others ; 
after the concert a dance. The Commodore and all the cap- 
tains of the navy here was there, and Colo. Dalrymple, and fifty 
or sixty gentlemen and the same number of ladies present." 
Feb. 8, 1771, " Mr Morgan, the fidler, had a benefit concert 
tonight." Oct. 15, 1771, " I spent the former part of the 
evening at the Concert Hall, it being Mr. Propert's concert ; 
a good company, upwards of 200." The same person, who 
was the organist at Trinity Church, gave three concerts at the 
Coffee House, March 3, 17, 31, 1773, with " good music " be- 
before " a very genteel company." March 15, 1771, Mr. 
Propert at Rowe's House " diverted us all the evening by 
playing on Sucky's [In man's] spinnet and joyned by Mr. J. 
Lane in singing ; Propert is a fine hand." Two other diver- 
sions may be noted here. At a tavern, Jan. 22, 1767, " a stran- 
ger diverted us much in playing the slight of hand." At 
Howe's house, Jan. 29, 1770, " Mr. J. Lane read us the divert- 
ing farce, the Mayor of Garratt." It was before the days of 
Gall and Spurzheim ; but, July 31, 1769, " In the evening I 
went to hear Mr. Douglass lecture on heads ; he performed 

There were feats of horsemanship, precursors of the modern 
circus. Nov. 1, 1771, " After dinner we went over to Bracket's 
and see a Yorkshire man stand upon a horse's back and gallop 
him full speed, afterwards upon two horses, and after that on 
three ; he endeavored to make all them gallop as fast as he could ; 
then lie mounted a single horse and run him full speed, and while 
running he jumped off and on three several times." Sept. 8, 
Oct. 5, 12, 1773, there were other like performances by Mr. 

1 Washington was travestied in this performance. 


Bates, " a smart active and strong man, and doing everything 
to general acceptance." 

Rowe was a leader in all social affairs. Every colonial man- 
sion was open to bira. As merchant, Mason, member of clubs, 
an officer of Trinity Church, a citizen active in public con- 
cerns, a leader in public and private festivities, he knew every 
one in the town wlio was not altogether obscure. In his Diary 
all the principal personages pass again and again before us, 
whether official persons or conspicuous citizens, — Bernard, 
Hutchinson, Otis, Hancock, Bowdoin, Gushing, the Quincys, 
Adamses, Olivers, Gridleys, Boylstons, Auchmutys, Grays, 
Vassalls, Pitts, Inches, Phillips, Brimmer, Apthorp, Boutineau, 
Goldthwait, Swift, Hallowell, Timmins, Amory, all the lead- 
ing clergymen and physicians, and a hundred more bearing 
familiar names. When the British evacuated Boston at the 
end of the siege, many of his best friends and some of his kins- 
folk left also ; and their names appear in Sabine's " Loj^alists," 
and in Hutchinson's and Curwen's journals, and in the records 
of confiscated estates which we could wish our fathers had not 
left us as subjects of explanation and apology. 

The amount of gayety and feasting in Boston in the period 
preceding the Revolution appears prominently in Rowe's Diary. 
It is safe to say that nothing like it exists to-day in any Amer- 
ican town of less than twenty thousand inhabitants. The hour 
of dining was in the earl 3^ afternoon, and that of the supper in 
the evening. Rowe records a great number of private meals, 
with names of guests, — friends, relatives, officers of the army 
and navy, or visitors from other Colonies or from Europe. 
We get only glimpses of the menu. French novelties had 
not yet come into vogue ; and the dishes were substantial, 
mostly English. We hear nothing of soups; but turtle (how 
served it is not stated), venison, and salmon seem to have been 
the choicest dishes which could be set before guests. Rowe 
had at home, Oct. 10, 17G9, " the finest haunch of venison " 
he had ever seen, and, March 20, 1765, "a fine lamb for 
dinner ; the whole weighed 28 lbs. ; this is the first lamb I have 
tasted this season." He dined, Dec. 12, 1772, at Hancock's, 
on "the fattest venison" he had ever seen. Other dishes 
named are a " pigg which proved tuff" (Sept. 18, 1764; Aug. 
4, 1769); "a fine hard quarter of veal " (Feb. 8, 1776); " buf- 
falow stakes which were very tender " (April 9, 1770); par- 

1895.] DIARY OF JOHN ROWE. 31 

tridges, the first of the season (Aug. 30, 1766) ; fresh cod 
(March 5, 1765), " turtogue " (Sept. 4, 1767), and fresh-water 
fish, — trout, pike, and perch, often very large, and caught by 
Rowe himself. The only vegetable named is green peas, 
picked from his own garden (June 16, 1767). Of the fruits 
which now complete a dinner or give relish to a breakfast or 
tea, nothing is said except that at Inman's one afternoon 
(July 6, 1768) there was at tea " a fine desert of cherrys and 
strawberries," the last doubtless growing wild. " A good large 
plumb cake" accompanied, June 5, 1709, "a fine ball and 
excellent music in Faneuil Hall." 

The Diary suggests the beverages of the time. Then, as in 
more modern periods, Boston people delighted in Old Madeira. 
Hutchinson, in his almanac for 1770, notes: " July 19, paid 
John Rowe for a qr. cask of Port, £8." At a dinner at Rowe's, 
July 5, 1765, "■ Christo. Minot was very wroth with Mr. Inman 
for introducing some sterlg. Madeira on his new coat from one 
of the Leghorn glasses not well managed." May 1, 1766, 
"After dinner came Capt. Solo. Davis and Mr. H. Bethune 
to drink Welch ale." At the dinner on the Queen's birthday 
at Concert Hall (Jan. 18, 1771) there was " very good dancing 
and good musick, but very bad wine and punch." At Mrs. 
Cordis's tavern (March 25, 1767) her patrons " regulated the 
price of wine and punch with her, twenty shillings a double 
bowl punch, thirty shillings a bottle Madeira." March 7, 1767, 
" we went to Capt. Bennets and drank a bottle of Madeira with 
Lewis Gray and Capt. Doble." 

The private dinners at which Rowe was host or guest bring 
before us the principal citizens of Boston at that time. One 
misses altogether, in the repeated lists of names, Paul Revere, 
not then ranking with people of social consideration, and finds 
only in a very few instances Samuel Adams sharing in the 
conviviality. The last-named, with Hancock and Gushing, 
dines with Rowe May 5, 1767, and again Feb. 15, 1774, in com- 
pany with Colonel James Warren of Plymouth, and other 
guests, not of Boston, bearing military titles. Rowe meets 
Adams at a dinner at Henderson Inches's, Jan. 7, 1775, in 
company with the clergymen Hunt and Bacon, Ezekiel Gold- 
thwait. Gushing, and Arnold Wells. Otherwise Samuel Adams 
is not traced at dinners and clubs, except at the Fire Club. 

Rowe's relations as friend and client with John Adams seem 


to have been very cordial, and the latter was as often in Boston 
life as his residence at Quincy much of the time permitted. 
Rowe meets " Mr. Adams of Braintree, lawyer," at Bracket's, 
the tavern, Jan. 28, 1765, in company with gentlemen nearly 
all bearing military titles. At a missing point in Rowe's Diary, 
John Adams enters in his, Dec. 20, 1765 : ^ " Went to Bos- 
ton ; dined with Mr. Rowe in company with Messrs. Gridley, 
Otis, Kent, and Dudley." Rowe has at dinner, Sept. 4, 

1766, " Mr. Addams of Braintree, lawyer," in company with 
" Mr. Payne of Taunton," and also has Adams to dine Feb. 24, 

1767. He notes, March 6, 1769, a dinner at Major Cunningham's 
with him, " his two sons, all his officers of his company, 
the Rev. Dr. Elliot, Mr. Henderson Inches, Mr. John Adams, 
lawyer," and others. June 16, 1769, Rowe's guests were 
James Otis, Mrs. Otis, Mr. Walton and Mr. Dennison of New 
York, Brigadier-General Brattle, John Adams, Mr. Dana the 
lawyer, Mr. Benjamin Kent the lawyer, Mr. John Timmins, 
Captain Solomon Davis, Thomas and William Apthorp. 
Adams records in his own Diary, Feb. 26, 1770, calling at 
Rowe's house to warm liimself, and their going out together 
to attend a funeral. Adams, as appears by Rowe's Diary 
Aug. 19, 1766, June 17, Nov. 2, 3, 1772, had law business in 
Taunton and Ipswich in which Rowe was concerned as client 
or witness. 

Rowe had pleasant relations with James Otis, and they met 
from time to time in a social and friendly way (July 6, 1768; 
June 16, 1769). Rowe dined, April 1, 1767, at Otis's, where 
were Mrs. Otis, Jeremiah Gridley, Mr. Grant of Halifax, Mr. 
Hughes, Andrew Belcher, Mr. Amiel, and John Dennie. He 
was also in friendly intercourse with Jolin Hancock. 

Some entertainments given by Rowe may be noted : Jan. 9, 
1770, " Dined at home with his Honor, the Lient.-Governl', 
his brother Foster Hutchinson, Esq., Colo. Dalrymple, Capt. 
Caldwell, Mr. Nicholas Boylston, Mr. Inman, Mr. John Lane, 
Mrs. Rowe." Aug. 6, 1770, " I dined at home with Colin 
Campbell, Esq., and his lady, Colo. Dalrymple and Capt. 
Mason of the 14"' regiment, Capt. Robertson and his son, 
Capt. Rob' Linzee,^ Capt. Bellew, Capt. Porter, Mr. Inman, 
Mrs. Rowe, and Sucky." Feb. 23, 1774, the partj'- consisted 

1 Works, ii. 158. 

2 Afterwards Rear Admiral, brother of Captain Joiin Linzee. 

1895.] DIARY OF JOHN EOWE. 33 

of John Hancock, Joseph Hawley, Robert Treat Paine, John 
Pickermg, Jedediah Preble of Falmouth (Portland), Isaac 
Lathrop of Plymouth, William Sever of Kingston, Gorham 
of Charlestovvn, and the Inmans. Frequently before the war 
Rowe gave dinners to the British officers, military and naval 
(Oct. 19, 1770 ; Feb. 25, Nov. 15, 1774 ; Feb. 15 and April 
13, 1775), and, after the British evacuated, to American offi- 
cers (Sept. 4, 1776). "A genteel dance" was given for 
"Sucky" Inman, Feb. 21, 1770, at which military officers 
were most prominent, — among them Captain Preston, who 
was shortly to become an historical character. 

There were dinners which Rowe attended, — at Governor 
Bernard's, Nov. 23, 1764, where were Boutineau, Pitts, Erving, 
Hancock, Samuel Wentworth, and Dr. Chauncy ; at the Sur- 
veyor-General's (John Temple) Feb. 2, 1767, where were the 
Secretary (Andrew Oliver), Mrs. Robert Temple, Colonel Gor- 
ham, Dr. Bulfinch, Rev. Mr. Walter, Rev. Mr. Troutbeck, and 
"Miss Alice Wliipple, the fair Quaker" ; at Governor Hutch- 
inson's, Dec. 30, 1772, wliere were the families of himself 
and Lieutenant-Governor Oliver, Dr. Gardner, the clergymen 
Caner, Byles, Walter, and Troutbeck ; at Nicholas Boylston's, 
whose sumptuous furniture impressed John Adams ^ (Jan. 2, 
1768 ; Jan. 4, Oct. 31, 1769 ; May 16, 1770), and at whose enter- 
tainments the distiuguished people of the town were to be 
found ; at Hancock's, Aug. 8, 1766, where were James Pitts, 
Treasurer Gray, James Otis, Thomas Gushing, and Benjamin 
Gerrish, and Dec. 12, 1772, where were ''Madam Hancock, 
Solo. Davis, Judge Read, Thos. Brown, Thos. Brattle, Timo. 
Fitch, Tuthill Hubbard and James Perkins" ; and " the fattest 
venison " which Rowe had ever seen was served. 

Rowe recounts the guests at numerous dinners he attended, — 
as at Ezekiel Goldth wait's in Roxbury, Aug. 23, 1766 ; Thomas 
Flucker's, April 16, 1773 ; Ralph Inman's in Boston, July 13, 
1776; Tuthill Hubbard's, Aug. 7, 1776; and Mrs. Coffin's, 
Nov. 19, 1778. 

Rowe kept open house for friends from the country, and he 
notes their dining with him, — Tristram Dalton of Newberry 
(July 16, 1765 ; May 16, 18, 1766 ; Aug. 19, 1772 ; xMarch 30, 
1774 ; Oct. 27, Nov. 3, 1776 ; Feb. 14, 19, 1779) ; Epps Sergeant 
of Gloucester (Aug. 17, 1768 ; March 22, June 17, 1772) ; Cap- 

1 Works, ii. 179. 


tain Thomas Gerry of Marbleliead (Sept. 13, 1769), and his 
son Elbridge, then rising to distinction (May 26, 1767 ; June 
29, 1770) ; ^Robert Treat Puine of Taunton (Feb. 8, March 1, 
1767) ; Colonel John Chandler of Worcester and Colonel 
John Murray of Rutland (March 1, June 8, 10, 1767 ; Dec. 3, 
5, 1769) ; and General Timothy Ruggles of Hard wick (March 
1, 1767). He had (Sunday, Jan. 10, 1768) General Winslow of 
Marshfield to dine with him ; and after church he spent an 
hour at Mrs. Bracket's, the tavern, with General Winslow, 
General Ruggles, Colonel Bradford, Mr. Sever of Kingston, 
and Major Alden. 

Occasionally there were guests from other Colonies, — an 
Izzard, Burrows, and Powell from South Carolina, or a Liv- 
ingston, King, and Mercer from New York (July 15, Aug. 21, 
1767; Aug. 6, 7, 8, Sept. 6, 7, Oct. 15, 19, 21, 23, 1776) ; visi- 
tors or traders from the West Indies (Aug. 27, 1772; Sept. 6, 
1776) ; Mr. Conner of Madeira and Mr. Conner of Teneriffe 
(Nov. 16, 1772) ; occasionally Frenchmen and Spaniards (July 
16, 1772) ; and Englishmen who came for trade or curiosity 
(Oct. 12, Nov. 23, 1772), now and then bearing titles, as for 
instance Lord and Lady William Campbell (Oct. 25, 30, 1771; 
July 4, 1772). The English officers, civil and military, were 
much in social request ; and some of them had to seek Rowe's 
good offices to relieve them from arrest for debt or other diffi- 
culties, as in the cases of Sir Thomas Rich of the " Senegal " 
(Nov. 7, 1771), and Captain John Linzee (Aug. 26, 27, 28, 31, 
1772). Rowe often notes the sailing or arrival of passengers, 
both English and American, to or from England ; and there 
seems to have been more communication between the town 
and the mother country than between the town and the Col- 
onies lying southward. It is thus easy to understand how 
Boston at an early day acquired a distinctively English stamp. 

A romantic character appears transiently in Rowe's pages, — 
Lady Frankland, born Agnes Surriage in 1726, the Marblehead 
girl, celebrated in Holmes's ballad, who attracted the e3'e of 
Sir Charles Henry Frankland, great-grandson of Frances Crom- 
well, the daughter of the Protector.^ He had come to Boston 

1 Sir Charles Henry Frankland, by Elias Nason ; Foote's Annals of King's 
Cliapel, i. 515-518. Frankland did not come to liis title till the death of his uncle 
in 1747. His memorandum book or journal is preserved in the cabinet of this 

1895.] DIARY OF JOHN ROWE. 35 

as royal collector in 1741. Though closely identified with 
King's Chapel as vestryman in the years 1743-44 and 1746-54, 
he was a benefactor of Trinity Church, giving, as a[)pears by 
its records, a subscription for its first organ which was exceeded 
only by the amounts contributed by Peter Faneuil and Henry 
Vassall. Besides his city house next to Hutchinson's,^ he 
bought, as is well known, an estate in Hopkinton, now Ashland, 
where he placed his mistress, whom several years afterwards 
he married at Lisbon, in gratitude for her having rescued him 
at the time of the earthquake in 1755. Sir Henry and Lady 
Frankland were again in Boston in 1756, and they entertained 
the Rowes and lumans Jan. 26, 1757. They left the country 
Feb. 23, 1758. 

Once or twice more Frankland came to Boston, and return- 
ing to England died near Bath, Jan. 11, 1768. He was 
accompanied by Henry Ciomwell, said to be his natural son, 
born in February, 1741, before his acquaintance with the 
Marblehead girl whom he took with him to Boston and 
Hopkinton, A few months after her husband's death Lady 
Frankland and Henry Cromwell sailed for Boston. Rowe's 
entries concerning them are : June 8, 1768. " Capt. Free- 
man arrived from Bristol, in whom came passengers Lady 
Frankland and Henry Cromwell." June 9. " Dined at home 
with ]\Ir. Henry Cromwell, Lady Frankland, Mr. Inman, 
Capt. Solo. Davis, Mrs. Rowe, and Sucky. After dinner 
Mr. Harrison and Mrs. Harrison paid us a visit, spent the 
evening at home with the same company." July 6. " After 
dinner Mr. James Otis and myself went to Mr. Inman's, 
where we found Colo. Phipps and wife, Mr. John Apthorp 
and wife, Capt. Solo. Davis and wife, Mr. Cromwell and Lady 
Frankland," and others. July 7. " Dined at Colo. David 
Phipps at Cambridge, with him and wife, INIr. John Apthorp 
and wife, Mr. William Davis and wife, Mr. Henry Cromwell, 
Mr. Inman, Lady Frankland," and others. July 9. " Dined at 
Ten Hills with Mr. Robt. Temple and wife, Mr. Cromwell, 
Lady Frankland, Mr. Stewart, Mr. Fenton, Mrs. Fenton, 
Mr. Inman, Mrs. Inman, Mrs. Rowe, Miss Bessy Temple 
and Mr. Temple's 4 daughters ; in the afternoon we were 
joyned by Mr. John Temple, the surveyor and lady." July 

^ Memorial History of Boston, ii. 525-527, wli&re a picfure of tlie liouse is 


26. " Spent the afternoon with Lady Frankland, Mrs. McNeal, 
Mrs. W" Gould, Mrs. Rowe, and Sucky." July 28. " Dined 
at home with Capt. Joseph Williams, Mr. Henry Cromwell, 
Mr. Tristram Dalton, Mr. Inman, Mrs. Rowe, Sucky, and 
George Inman." August 24. "Spent the evening at Lady 
Frankland's with her and her sister, Mr. Cromwell, Madam 
Apthorp, Dr. Bulfinch, Mrs. Bulfinch, Mr. Inman, ]\Irs. Rowe, 
and Sucky." August 30. "Dined at Mr. Laviount's at Cam- 
bridge with him and Mrs. Laviount, Mr. Cromwell and Lady 
Frankland," the rest being Sheaffes, Phippses, Apthorps, 
Greenleafs, Davises, and Inmans. Rowe meets Cromwell 
September 16 and November 1 in large companies. Novem- 
ber 9. " Spent the remainder [of the evening] at home with 
Mr. Inman, Mr. Cromwell, Lady Frankland, her sister, Mrs. 
Rowe, and Sucky." December 1. " Spent the evening at 
Capt. Solomon Davis, with him, Mrs. Davis, . . . Lady Frank- 
land, Mr. Cromwell," and others. March 22, 17G9. " Dined at 
Mr. Inman's at Cambiidge with him, Mr. Cromwell, Lady 
Frankland," and others. Lady Frankland and Cromwell 
were of a party at Menotomy Pond Aug. 28, 1773 ; and they 
disappear at this date from Rowe's Diary. Lady Fiankland 
probably left shortly after for her estate in Hopkinton. She 
and Cromwell remained there till 1775, when after some ob 
struction they were allowed by the Provincial Congress to go to 
Boston, and not long after sailed for England, never to return.^ 
The curious history of Agnes Surriage is only pursued thus far 
in order to illustrate Rowe's Diary. It may be added that she 
married in 1782 John Drew, a banker of Chichester, and died, 
April 23, 1783, at the age of fifty-seven. The onl}^ glimpses 
of her sojourn in Boston after her return as a widow are now 
for the first time obtained from Rowe's Diary. 

Henry Cromwell's origin is involved in obscurity. Sir Charles 
Henry Frankland is usually named as his putative father,but the 
history which comes nearest the time makes him the natural son 
of Sir Thomas Frankland, Sir Charles's uncle and immediate 
predecessor in the title.^ No writer makes any suggestion as to 
his maternity. He entered the English navy, rose to be a cap- 
tain, and was with Admiral Kempenfclt in an action off the 

1 Memorial History of Boston, iii. 77. 

2 Noble's Memoirs of tlie House of Cromwell, ii. 423, 424. Noble makes two 
mistakes, — giviiifj Agines's name as " Brown," and friviiifi; " Colcliester " instead 
of Chichester as the place where she passed the latter part of her life. 

1895.] DIAKY OF JOHN ROWE. 37 

French coast Nov. 14, 1781. He is said to have been living 
and to have had a family in Chichester in 1796. Nason makes 
a statement which is not trustworthy, — that, " being unwilling 
to fight against his native country, he retired from the service 
previous to the close of the Revolution." There is no evidence 
of his American birth, and the dates indicate an English birth. 
It appears by Steel's " List of the Royal Navy," page 20, that 
his first commission was in 1781, and that, instead of leaving 
the navy, he was still in it in 1797, with the rank of captain. 

"Weddings were the occasion of good cheer and gayety. 
Rowe mentions, Nov. 8, 1764, " Mr. Thos. Amory married 
Miss Betty Coffin this evening; there was a great company 
at old Mr. Coffin's on the occasion, and a great dance." ^ He 
records, Jan. 13, 1767, "a wedding frollick" at John Erving, 
Jr.'s, where he " had the pleasure to dance with the bride." 
Feb. 2, 1768. " This morning Miss Polly Hooper was married 
in Trinity Church to Mr. John Russell Spence by the Rev'' Mr. 
Walter ; a great concourse of people attended on the occasion. 
Dined at Mrs. Hooper's with her, the new bridegroom and 
bride." A laige number of guests were present, — Hallo wells, 
Apthorps, Murrays, Greenleafs, and others, — remaining to tea 
and joining in the evening in a dance. " We were merry, and 
spent the whole day very clever and agreeable." 

There were once in two weeks in the winter and spring, be- 
ginning with the first of January, dancing-assemblies at Concert 
Hall. The Governor and military and naval officers quite 
often attended them, and Rowe describes them many times as 
"very brilliant." The number of gentlemen and ladies in 
attendance was usually rather more than a hundred, and some- 
times it rose to two hundred. Feb. 10, 1768. "Spent the 
evening at the assembly, which was a very brilliant one, 
the Governour and Lady, all the commissioners, Mr. Harri- 
son, and too many to enumerate." March 15, 1769. " Spent 
the evening at the assembly with the Governour, Commodore, 
General, Colo. Kerr, Colo. Lesly, Major Furlong, Major Flem- 
ing, Major Fordyce, a great number of officers of the navy 
and arm}^ and gentlemen and ladies of the town, that is, was a 
brilliant assembly and very good dancing." Other assembly 

1 The bride's portrait belongs to the family of the late William Amory of 


evenings are noted March 1, 29, April 12, 1769; Jan. 4, 18, 
Feb. 1, March 14, May 3, June 4, 1771 ; Jan. 2, 30, 1772 ; Jan. 
18, 1773. 

Tliere were several political clubs in Boston in Rowe's time, 
but he belonged to none of them. He was however an habit- 
ual visitor at clubs social or commercial, going almost every 
evening to one or another. More often than any otlier he 
sought the " Possee" ; but what was its bond of fellowship is 
not known. It had a limited number of members, as follows: 
John Avery, John Box, William Coffin Senior, Samuel Deming, 
Deacon Thomas Foster, Benjamin Greene, Rafus Greene, 
William Henshaw, Francis Johonnot, James Richardson, and 
John Rowe. Samuel Swift, the lawyer, usually met with 
them, though perhaps rather as a guest than as a member. 
Occasionally a member introduced a guest who lived in the 

The Fire Club, meeting at Mrs. Cordis's or at Ingersoll's, 
was made up of George Bethune, Melatiah Bourne, James 
Boutineau, Nicholas and Thomas Boylston, John Brown, John 
Dennie, Solomon Davis, Benjamin Faneuil, Samuel Fitch, 
Thomas Flucker, Harrison Gray, Capt. Jerry Green, Joseph 
Green, Dr. William Lloyd, Master John Lovell, William Moli- 
neux, and William Sheaffe. Rowe's first meeting with them 
was Sept. 5, 1768. On the same page where he states this 
fact he writes, " The word, Ask more," which may have been 
the password. Joseph Green, who was piesent Sept. 4, 1769, 
is mentioned as " the poet." 

Rowe attended, Nov. 7, 14, 1764, the Wednesday Night 
Club, probably having no connection with the Wednesday 
Evening Club of a later date. He also mentions, July 4, 
1767, meeting the " No. 5 Club," made up of prominent citi- 
zens whom he names. 

The chief rendezvous of the leading citizens was, however, 
at Mrs. Cordis's, — " the British Coffee House in the front room 
towards the Long wharf where the Merchants Club has met 
this twenty years." ^ Lawyers as well as merchants came 
hither, probably every evening. In 1767 the meetings were 
at Mrs. Cordis's ; but about 1772 they were held at Colonel 
Joseph Ingersoll's Bunch of Grapes in King Street, and when 
he left Boston, at Captain Marston's, either in King Street or 

1 John Adams's Diary, Works, ii. 290- 

1895.] DIARY OF JOHN KOWE. 39 

Merchants' Row. The names of persons whom Rowe met at 
these resorts — some on one evening and some on another, 
and all of them recurring again and again in his pages — are 
John Amiel, George Apthorp, Nat. and George Bethune, 
Joshua Blanchard, Melatiah and William Bourne, James Bou- 
tineau, John and Nicholas Boylston, Thomas Brattle, Edward, 
Solomon, and William Davis, John Dennie, Joseph Dowse, 
John Erving, Samuel Fitch, Thomas Flucker, Ezekiel Gold- 
tliwait, Thomas Gray, Treasurer Harrison Gray, John Han- 
cock, Samuel Hughes, Nat. Hide, Henderson Inches, Joseph 
Jackson, William Molineux, James Otis, Edward Payne, James 
Perkins, Dr. William Lee Perkins, Samuel Quincy, Joseph 
Scott, John Timmins, James Warden, Edward Wendell, and 
Joshua Winslow, and the lawyers Gridley, Sewall, and Swift. 

The habit of frequenting insurance offices for reading news- 
papers and hearing gossip belongs to a later date ; but Rowe 
records, Aug. 22, 1768 : " Spent the evening at the North In- 
surance office with James Otis, Solo. Davis, John Erving, 
Thos. Brattle, Capt. Vernon, Nat. Barber, Andrew Clark, 
and John White." 

Club life as well as public festivities were mostly suspended 
after the battle of Lexington, except on special occasions like 
the visit of the French fleet. 

The usual drives in the country were round Jamaica Pond 
or in Roxbury and Dorchester, sometimes " over the Neck 
round the little Square" (July 29, Aug. 10, 1774), and some- 
times as far as Milton (April 6, 1769). Rowe often drove to 
Roxbury to see his old friend and relative Robert Gould, an 
invalid, till the latter's death early in 1772 (May 5, June 22, 
1765). In the summer of 1771 he used to diive to Savin Hill, 
"• a very agreeable rural spot," to a place which his friend 
Thomas Brattle had hired, where an agreeable company some- 
times gathered for afternoon tea (May 16, June 3). The 
drive we may presume was often in a chaise ; but sometimes 
Mrs. Rowe "took an airing in the chariot" (Sept. 2, 1766). 
The drives were to the south, as communication with the north 
was so circuitous. For instance, a party set out, Nov. 10, 1772, 
in Paddock's coach for Salem (Rowe's chaise accompanying it). 
" We went all round through Cambridge and dineji at Martin's; 
we q:ot to Salem about four of clock." 


The suburbs of Boston were attractive in those as in later 
days. At Milton lived Thomas Hutchinson, in a house stand- 
ing till 187:^, which looked out on river and ocean in front and 
the Blue Hills in the rear, — a house then filled with sons and 
daughters. He loved that home on Unquity Hill, parted from 
it with deep regret, and sighed in exile to return to it. Rowe 
drove to Hutchinson's mansion to make calls, and sometimes 
on official business (June 16, Sept. 11, 1766; July 13, 1773). 
He had friendly relations with Daniel Vose, the merchant 
of the place, at whose house "at the Milton Bridge," still 
standing near the railway station, the Suffolk Resolves were 
passed ; and dined there, May 6, 1769, in company with 
Dr. Catherwood, Joshua Winslow, Jr., and others. But the 
house in Milton which he sought the most was that of James 
Smith on Brush Hill, still standing, and for a long period 
the home of the late James M. Robbins. Smith, who died 
in 1769 at the age of eighty, was a wealthy sugar-refiner, and 
owned an estate of one hundred and seventy-one acres run- 
ning to the Neponset River.^ He had also a farm at Water- 
town, where he gave a distinguislied dinner-party July 15, 
1767. His second wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Campbell, born Murray, 
was of a Scotch family ; and her maiden name is found in 
the middle names of her descendants, the late Mr. Robbins, 
and others who are still living in Milton. She became by a 
third marriage Rowe's kinswoman.^ He records in a quaint 
way the courtship of herself and his brother-in-law Inman: 
July 22, 1771. "After dinner [at Rowe's] Mr. Inman intro- 
duced his design to Mrs. Smith." August 16. " Afternoon 
Mr. Inman and Mrs. Rowe paid a visit to Mrs. Smith over to 
Goldthwait's. Mr. Inman came home well pleased and agreed 
on his plan of matrimony." Rowe notes the publication of 
banns at King's Chapel, September 1, and the marriage "• at the 
seat of Mr. Ezekiel Goldthwait," September 26, followed by 
a dinner at Inman's, where Rowe passed the evening and the 
night. Rowe was often at this Brush Hill house, once at 
least taking a sleigh-ride there (Jan. 30, 1765) ; and once 
Mrs. Rowe was badly bruised (Aug. 18, 1767) by lier carriage 
being upset as she was driving there. It was Rowe's sto[)ping- 

1 Pictures of the Iliitcliinson, Vose, and Smith houses are in Teele's " History 
of Milton." 

* She and her second husband, James Smith, are buried at King's Ciiapel. 

1895.] DIAHY OF JOHN ROWE. 41 

place as he was returning from fishing or business excursions 
(July 20, 1765; July 22, 1766). Under this roof often 
gathered gay dinner-companies, where were James Murray 
and wife ; his daughters Anna, Betsey, and Dorothy ^ (the last 
afterwards the wife of Rev. John Forbes) ; old Madam Belcher, 
the Governor's widow, and Mrs. Belcher, widow of Andrew 
Belclier, who was both Madam's daughter and daughter-in-law; 
the Hoopers, Inmans, Vassalls, Amiels, Auchmutys, Goulds, 
Temples, Hallowells, Goldth waits. Miss Blowers, Rev. Edward 
Winslow ; and Milton neighbors, the Pratts and Clarks (March 
28, July 19, 20, 1765 ; July 24, Oct. 23, 1766 ; Aug. 18, 1767 ; 
Feb. 7, 25, 1769). Rowe writes of the dinner, March 16, 1773, 
" We were very merry." These happy days at Brush Hill 
were then coming to a close, the greater number of the festive 
company sharing the fate of Loyalists and exiles. The Mur- 
ray ladies succeeded in saving the estate itself from confisca- 
tion by remaining upon it and keeping very quiet during the 

There were then attractive houses at Cambridge. Rowe 
records festivities at several of them, — at Colonel Thomas Oli- 
ver's (Dec. 9, 1766; Feb. 22, 1768 ; Aug. 17, 1769), where were 
the Brattles, Temples, Vassalls, Byards, Phippses, Van Homes, 
Edward Winslow, and Richard Lechmere ; and at John and 
Henry Vassall's, where were similar companies (Feb. 16, 
1765; Dec. 12, 1766; Feb. 17, 1768). His record for Feb. 
20, 1768, was of a dinner at Ten Hills (Mr. Robert Tem- 
ple's), where were "Mrs. Temple, Mrs. Eliz"* Hubbard, Miss 
Henrietta Temple and 4 daughters of Mr. Temple's, also 
Colo. James Otis, his son James Otis, Mr. W™ Bayard, Major 
Robt. Byard, Mr. Laviount, Mr. Dewar, Capt. Sheaffe of 
Charlestown, Colo, Saltonstall of Haverhill." A dinner at 
Colonel David Phipps's (July 7, 1768) has been noted 

In no house in or about Boston were there more lavish 
entertainments than at Ralph Inman's in Cambridge, a house 
the site of which is just behind the present Cit}'- HalL No 
buildings then intervening to obstruct the view, it looked out 
on the Charles River and Boston beyond. Noble trees stood in 

1 She is buried at King's Chapel. Her portrait is in the possession of her 
grandson, John M. Forbes, of Milton. 

2 Teele's " History of Milton," pp. 173, 174, 421, 422. * 



the spacious grounds about it.i Rowe as a kirmi^nn ^o p. 

1T71 ; Aug. 25, 1773). ^ ' ^^' ^^' 

The entertainments at Inman's anrl ^f P^n 
Commencement Day surpas anvthinf 1 ^^' '°°"^' ^" 

renowned home of ciluTand hn > r^'' ^""""^ ^" '^^^<^ 
"the class spreads'' glTin^teniatt't I^t ^^'^^^ 
Gymnasium and Beck Hall Tn. ^ , ,'' Hemenway 

July 17 Hfi'^ ^^rl ^^^ ""'^^^^ ^^^e«e records: 

omy u, i(tb. " Commencement Day. Went tn Pc,^i -i 
Mrs. Rowe, Polly Hooper, and S Jcky f dlLd at EdS 
Wmslow's roora, a very large company ; went o Mr Hn • 

M. Hoopers (probacy RoS Stt^'T c^ ot msT 
uith a very large company"; and in the evening a dance at 

mater o the oeremtw'-s" PT ^""^ "<"^^""^'' - 
became Loya,if^7-.nila!''Su:^t^Crj^!^nr 


returned to Cambridge; dined with Mr. David G eene ,vi h 
a very urge company, spent the evening there We had » 
dance. I was m.aster of the ceremonie., ; sfept at Mr. Imant " 
Greene of the Cla,,s of 1768 became a Loyalist. July 17 mi • 
'I went to Cambridge and dined with Mr. Inman Po] J 
Jones, and Sally Inman ; after dinner I went to S M / 
ray s room in the New Colledo-e 2 whpro ti,.... , 

company, the Governour, Co^iil Id" oo^n^ny™: l^Z 
rate I staid till six." Colonel John Murrav and hk ! 

c^::tf°^ "T,f™'^-'«"s »>»-. also his soniruti : : . 

class of the following year, became Loyalists. 

The fullest record of festivities at Cambridge is in July, 

=» Ilollis Hall. 

1895.] DIARY OF JOHN EOWE. 43 

1772. On the 15th Rowe dined at Samuel Murray's room, 
where were Colonel Murray the father, Colonel Saltonstall, 
Judge Sewall, Colonel Oliver, Samuel Quincy, Major Vassall, 
and many other guests whose names are given. Rowe adds : 
" After dinner we were visited by the Governour and Council, 
Admirall Montague and many other gentlemen too many to 
enumerate. I paid a visit to Mr. Jonathan Williams' son and 
also Dr. Whitworth's son, both which took their degree." 
The record of the next day is as follows : " I went early to Mr. 
Inman's, who made the genteelest entertainment I ever saw on 
account of his son George taking his degree yesterday. He had 
three hundred forty-seven gentlemen and ladies dined, two 
hundred and ten at one table, amongst the company the 
Governour and family, the Lieut. -Governour and family, the 
Admirall and family, and all the remainder gentlemen and 
ladies of character and reputation; the whole was conducted 
with much ease and pleasure, and all joyned in making each 
other happy ; such an entertainment has not been made in 
New England before on any occasion." A ball at the Town 
House in Cambridge followed, where " all were very happy 
and cheerful," and Rowe slept at Inman's. George Inman, 
whose college life closed so merrily, left his home three years 
later to join the British army, and died at Grenada in the 
West Indies in 1789. 

These annual festivities were approaching a suspension ; and 
Rowe records, July 20, 1774, that " the distressed situation of 
the town and Province prevents Commencement Day being 
kept publick as usual." Inman's house became General Put- 
nam's headquarters duriiig the siege of Boston, — an event 
which is commemorated by an inscription on a stone slab placed 
on its site by the city of Cambridge. The building itself, re- 
moved twenty and more years ago, is now a double tenement 
house, recently bereft of its piazza, numbered 64 and 6i} on 
Brookline Street in that city, and making the southeast corner 
of Brookline and Auburn streets. 

Ralph Inman's estate escaped confiscation, and he returned 
to live and die upon it, and to bequeath it by a will proved in 
July, 1788. He has posterity other than the Linzees living in 
Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, descending from the 
daughters of his son George, who came with their mother from 
Grenada to Massachusetts soon after their father's death, and 


who were liberally provided for in the wills of their grandfather 
and of Hannah Rowe. 

One record of a visit to the College may be given here, 
June 7, 1769 : " I rose very early and went to Cambridge with 
Colo. Robertson, Dr. Catherwood, Major Goldthwait, Lord 
George Gordon, Mrs. Rowe and Sucky, and breakfasted at 
Mr. Inman's. Afterwards I went with the same company to 
the Colledge with Mr. Winthrop [probably Professor John 
Winthrop], who was very obliging and shew us the apparatus 
which is very elegant, also the library ; from thence I went and 
dined at Commodore Loring's with him" and other guests. 

Another well-known suburban house was that of Isaac 
Royall at " Mystick," or Medford. There, May 3, 1766, be- 
sides Rowe, were " i\Iiss Polly and Miss Betsy Royal, General 
Brattle, Treasurer Gray, James Otis, Esq., Thos. Cushion 
[Gushing], Esq., and Mr. Nathl. Sparhawk." There also, 
July 22, 1768, were "■ the Governour and Council, Danforth, 
Gray, Flucker, Bowdoin, Isaac Royal, Mr. Pepperell." This 
company was to be scattered a few years later, the host and the 
larger number of guests becoming Loj^alists. Roj'all is grate- 
fully remembered by jurists for the professorship founded by 
him at Cambridge. 

Rowe attended, Aug. 23, 1773, a large dinner-party at 
" Mallden " given by Captain Haskins, where were several 
whose names have already appeared in other connections in 
these pages. 

All the notable houses in the Province were open to Rowe, — 
those of the Speakmans, his relatives in Marlborough ; Colonel 
John Murray at Rutland (May 21, 23, 1766) ; General Timothy 
Ruggles at Hardwick (May 21, 22, 1766); Colonel John Chand- 
ler at Worcester (May 12, 1767) ; Robert Treat Paine and Cap- 
tain Cobb at Taunton (May 8, July 3, 1766; July 30, 1767) 
Edward Winslow at Plymouth (Mav 2, 1765 ; April 28, 1768 
April 27, 1769; April 30, May 21, 1770; April 24, 25, 1771) 
Nathaniel Ray Thomas (May 1, 1765 ; April 28, 1769) and 
General Winslow (April 29, 30, 1767 ; April 25, 26, 1769-; 
May 1, 2,1770; April 23,1771), both at Marsh fi el d ; Major 
Goldthwait's country home at " Westown " (May 13, 1767) ; 
those of several friends in Salem, among them Colonel Pick- 
man and Joseph Dowse (Oct. 1, 1767) ; Captain Thomas Gerry 
at Marblehead (July 31, 1765 ; July 28, 1776), where were 

1895.] DIARY OF JOHN ROWE. 45 

his sons Thomas, John, and Elbridge ; and of Tristram Dalton 
at " Newberry Old Town," where Rovve dined, July 26, 1776, 
when returning from Portsmouth. Of Dalton's place he writes : 
"This seat of Mr. Dalton's is most delightfully situated, and 
has the most extensive prospect I ever saw, particularly of 
the River Merrimack and the sea beyond, Newberry Port and 
Hampton Beach." 

One gets the impression from this Diary that in the days 
before the Revolution there was a country life in New England 
in large houses remote from Boston (not summer cottages onl}^) 
more interesting and having greater social vitality than anything 
like it in those or similar localities in our time. 

The public feasting in Boston at this time was beyond any- 
thing now seen in places of the same population. There were 
merchants' dinners, St. Patrick dinners, charitable society 
dinners. Masonic dinners, artillery election dinners, dinners on 
board vessels of war and commerce,^ dinners at Faneuil Hall 
to celebrate the close of the school year, with clergymen and 
official or eminent persons as guests, dinners of the Proprietors 
of Long Wharf, dinners on Spectacle, Rainsford, and Noddle's 
islands, and at the Light House. There were dinners, often 
with dancing, to celebrate the King's accession to the throne, 
and the King's and Queen's birthdays, and to express the 
public joy at the repeal of the Stamp Act. Rowe was present 
at all these, often serving as chairman or toastmaster ; and 
he describes with much zest the entertainments as "genteel." 
He seemed to enjoy more than any the Masonic dinners which 
came twice a year, in June and December; and he always gives 
the names of the brethren present. Dec. 27, 1764, he wrote : 
" I don't remember St. John, as long as I have belonged to 
the fraternity, has been celebrated with more decorum and 
more pleasure." The merchants' dinner at the Coffee House, 
Dec. 2, 1766, Rowe presiding, to Capt. John Gideon, com- 
mander of the warship " Jamaica," just before sailing, was a 
notable festivity. Here were all the principal merchants and 
citizens, including Hancock, Otis, Edmund Quincy, Gushing, 
the Boylstons, Amorys, and Hallowells. Rowe says : " And 
a very genteel entertainment it was." A committee, of which 
Rowe was a member, had been appointed the day before by the 

1 April 21, 1774, on board Rowe's own ship, tlie " Montagu." 


town to express its thanks to Captain Gideon for his conduct 
while stationed at Boston. 

Sometimes our ancestors feasted on a roasted ox, or " bar- 
bikue," — " the ox being carried through the streets in triumj^h " 
the day before, — at the Turk's Head, on the Common, at 
Faneuil Hall, and Dennis Island (Sept. 28, 1764 ; Aut^. 13, 
1765 ; Aug. 1, 1766 ; Aug. 16, 1768 ; May 29, 30, 1770). These 
were not occasions for the masses only ; but the leading people, 
ladies as well as gentlemen, — Hutchinsons, Olivers, Grays, 
Belchers, Sheaffes, Auchmutys, Swifts, and Goldthwaits, — 
took part. 

The places for feasting when the company was very large were 
Faneuil Hall and Concert Hall, — the latter resort situated on 
the south corner of Court and Hanover streets, and standing 
till a modern period,^ — but considerable parties were enter- 
tained at Mrs. Cordis's Coffee House ; Colonel Joseph Ingersoll's 
Bunch of Grapes in King Street (Captain Marston was his 
successor there, 1775-1779) ; Bracket's, Gardner's, and King's 
Arms on the Neck ; the Peacock, Greaton's (the Greyhound), 
Richards's, and Blany'sin Roxbury ; Kent's and John Champ- 
ney's (the Turk's Head) in Dorchester; Coolidge's " at Water- 
town Bridge " ; Weatherby's at Menotomy Pond, and places of 
refreshment at Fresh Pond and Spot Pond. These festivities 
included a pleasant suburban drive of ladies and gentlemen 
round Jamaica Pond (in winter in sleighs), a dinner and tea 
and a dance in the evening, joined in not by the young only, 
but also by middle-aged people of foremost rank in the town. 
Sometimes each paid his own score, but at other times one 
of the party was host and the rest guests. The French con- 
sul was the host at Marston's Feb. 27, 1779 •, and Colonel 
Dalrymple, Francis Waldo, ajid John Lane on other occa- 
sions at the Peacock (July 10, Aug. 20, Oct. 30, 1771). 

Eighty gentlemen, "a high campaign," went, Aug. 11, 1767, 
to witness a launch at Weymouth. An excursion to a remoter 
point may be chronicled in this connection, Aug. 6, 1772 : 
" This morning Mr. Hancock, Dr. Cooper, Mr. Brattle, Mr. 
Tuthill Hubbard, Mr. Saml. Calef, Mr. Winthrop of Cambridge, 
Mr. Nicho. Bowes and Capt. Hood went from Boston in the 
Providence packet to visit the eastern parts of this province and 
also on a party of pleasure. My servant Henry Smith and 

1 It was finally demolished in 1869. 

1895.] DIARY OF JOHN KOWE. 47 

Davis the barber's man went with them as attendants." The 
party returned August 22. 

There were a succession of enjoyable inns on the highways 
leading from Boston southward to Plymouth and Taunton, 
and also to the east and west. Most sought by Rowe was 
Doty's,! in Stoughton, now Canton, just beyond the Blue 
Hills, standing till it was burned in December, 1888, its site 
now a race-course. Here met in 1774 the " County Congress," 
with Warren at the head of the Boston delegation, by which at 
an adjourned meeting held at the house of Daniel Vose in 
Milton were passed the famous Suffolk Resolves. Here during 
the siege lived Ezekiel Price, who drove often to Milton to learn 
the news and observe from the hill the movements of the British 
ships in the harbor. Rowe had occasion on fishing-excursions 
or journeys to Dighton on business (the affairs of Ebenezer 
Stetson, an insolvent debtor), to stop often at this tavern, 
and he managed whenever he could to pass the night there. 
Once when returning from Dighton, May 9, 1766, he wrote: 
" We supped and slept there, and I set it down as an extraor- 
dinary house of entertainment, and very good beds." Other 
country taverns which he frequented were Brackett's in 
Braintree, Deacon Cushing's in Hingham, Elisha Ford's in 
Marshfield, Spears's and Hall's in Pembroke, Howland's 
in Plymouth, Newcomb's in Sandwich, Stone's in Stoughton, 
Widow Noyes's in Sharon (then Stoughtonham, where one of 
the Edmund Quinc3's seemed to be an hahitue)^ Howard's and 
Kingman's in Easton, McWhorter's in Taunton, Tapley's, 
Johnson's, and Norwood's in Lynn, Goodhue's in Salem, " a 
good tavern and good lodging" (Oct, 1, 1767), Treadwell's 
in Ipswich, Widow Ames's and Woodward's (both being the 
same) ^ and Gay's in Dedham, Mackintosh's in Needham, 
Pratt's at Needham Bridge, and Fisher's on Charles River in 
the upper part of that town, Bullard's in Natick (where Rowe 
dined July 3, 1765, " on fish which Mrs. Bullard dressed very 
well "), Mann's in Wrentham, and Bryant's in Sudbury. These 

1 An account of this tavern, with a picture, is given in Huntoon's " History of 
Canton," pp. 335-341. 

2 These taverns were in Dedham village. Mrs. Ames was the mother of 
Fisher Ames, and married Woodward for her second husband. At Woodward's, 
the " County Congress," which afterwards passed tlie Suffolk Kesolves at Milton, 


wayside inns, sometimes the resort of parties of gentlemen 
and ladies driving from Boston, appear attractive in Rowe's 
pages ; but John Adams does not give so favorable an account 
of them.i 

Fresh-water fishing was a great sport in those days, and 
Rowe was one of the jolliest and most expert fishermen. We 
read in John Adams's Diary (11. 238) a note, June 2, 1770, from 
Goldthwait to Adams, who was to start the next day for 
Portsmouth on a professional errand : " Do you call tomorrow 
and dine with us at Flax Pond near Salem, Rowe, Davis, 
Brattle, and half a dozen as clever fellows as ever were born, are 
to dine there under the shady trees by the pond upon fish and 
bacon and pease, &c. ; and as to Madeira, nothing can come up 
to it. Do you call. We '11 give you a genteel dinner and fix you 
off on your journey." Rowe took care to provide himself with 
all a fisherman's needs, as imported rods (June 11, 1765); some- 
times "lost several fine hooks and snoods" (Sept. 10, 1768), once 
lost " the top of his rod line and hooks by a very large picker- 
ell" (Sept. 17, 1764), and once left behind his "fishing rod 
and leather dram bottle" (Oct. 2, 1767). His companions on 
these excursions were often Samuel Calef or Henry Ayres, and 
sometimes his clerical friends. In tlie early part of the Diary 
he was fishing mostl}^ in Flax Pond in Lynn, and in the latter 
part mostly in Charles River at Dedham and Needham, keep- 
ing a boat at Dedham, which he sent up the river, June 12, 1776, 
and stopping sometimes at Kend rick's or other taverns in the 
town or vicinity, but oftener at Richards's (probably Timothy 
Richards), who, though not a tavern-keeper, received him in a 
friendly way. Other fishing-resorts frequented by him were 
Menotomy Pond, with Wyndship's tavern near by; Fresh 
Pond ; Spot Pond ; Jamaica Pond ; Ponkapoag Pond (Doty's 
tavern near by), and perhaps Houghton's in the vicinity (Aug. 
2,1766); Mospepong (or Massapoag) Pond (July 30, 1767) in 
Sharon ; ponds or streams in Natick and Wrentham ; " the Great 
Worster Pond " ^ in Shrewsbury, where he was entertained at~ 
" Mr Furnaces" and fished at " Worster Bridge " (May 12,13, 
July 6, 1767) ; and a pond "at the up[)er end of Mallden " 
(July 2, 1767). To the south were sheets of water inviting 

1 Works, ii. 123, and elsewhere. 

'^ Long Pond, or Lake Quinsigamond. 

1895.] DIARY OF JOHN EOWE. 49 

the fisherman, — in Hingham, Taunton, Duxbury, Pembroke, 
and Plymouth ; and with all these Rowe was familiar. 

Sometimes the luck was poor, but generally it was very 
good. Four or five dozen was an ordinary catch; but often 
the fishing-party brought back ten or even twenty dozen, — 
sometimes pickerel two feet long and weighing nearly four 
pounds (one caught June 29, 1770, weighing four and a 
quarter pounds) ; perch fifteen, sixteen, and eighteen inches 
long, and weighing three and a half pounds ; and trout 
eighteen inches long. Sept. 22, 1764. " Went to Flax 
Pond, fished with Mr. Saml. Calef, had great sport ; caught 
two pickerell, one was two foot long and weighed three 
pounds and three quarters, and about four dozen of large pond 
perch, one measured fourteen inches." At the same pond, 
July 29, 1766, twelve dozen perch were caught in two hours ; 
and, June 19, 1772, very near one hundred weight were caught. 
July 13, 1765. " Early this morning went to Monotomy Pond 
with the Rev"^ Mr. Auchmooty and Mr. Saml. Calef, had great 
sport; we caught above sixteen dozen of pond and sea perch, 
made a rough day of it, and came home in the evening." 
June 21, 1766, seven dozen perch were caught in the same 
pond. June 2, 1767. After a night at Mackintosh's tavern in 
Needham with Amiel, Calef, Jacobson, and Apthorp, Rowe 
makes the entry : " I rose very early this morning, routed up 
my companions, and set out for Bullard's Pond at Natick, 
where went a fishing ; had extraordinary sport. We did not 
weigh the fish ; I guess we caught about eighty weight. I 
caught about 25| lbs. weighed at Kendrick's. We came back 
and dined at Kendrick's, with old Madam Apthorp, Major 
Byard and lady, Mr. Amiel and wife, Mr. Inman and Mrs. 
Rowe, Mr. Spence and Miss Sally Sheaff, Capt. Jacobson, Mr. 
Saml. Calef, Mr. Thos. Apthorp, Mr. Robt. Apthorp, George 
Inman, and Jack Wheelwright. We were very merry." 
Returning from Taunton, where they had fished in Winne- 
cunnet Pond, John Boylston and Rowe passed the night of 
July 31, 1767, at the Widow Noyes's in Sharon, after fishing 
in " Mossepong Pond." The entry of the next day is : " We 
went to Punkapong Pond and fished there ; we caught 26 
dozen of pond perch before ten of clock, which I told. We 
dined there; after dinner set out for Boston, and got in be- 
fore dark." August 2. " John Boylston is a good companion, 



but very fretfull and uneasy in his make. I should be very glad 
to accompany him at any time on a party of fishing, especially 
when the fish bites fast." After a night at Doty's, Rowe, 
Jacobson, and Calef fished, Aug. 18, 1768, in the same pond ; 
and the entry is : " Had great sport, caught upwards of twenty- 
seven dozen, and some large fish ; dined at Doty's ; after dinner 
set out for home, was caught in the rain, stopped at Mr. Clark's 
at Milton, drank tea there." Rowe and Admiral Montagu 
went a-fishing, June 9, 1773, in Wrentham Pond. Rowe " was 
a little unwell, and did not tany ; the admirall caught 173 
perch." Rowe fished occasionally at " the Dedham causeway, 
beyond Dedham Island" (Sept. 30, 1766 ; June 13, 20, 1767 ; 
May 14, 1768). He records, June 7, 1766 : " There 's a trout 
brook empties itself into Charles River about a mile and half 
beyond Dedham Island causeway ; dined under a large apple 
tree, and fished again." 

Ladies were sometimes of the party, and passed the night at 
the tavern near by ; but they do not appear to have joined in 
the sport. At Kendrick's on Charles River, July 27, 1765, Pitts, 
Bowdoin, Boutineau, Bourne, and Flucker were accompanied by 
their wives for the day, and Nicholas Boylston was of the party. 
At Doty's tavern in Stoughton the fishing-party was joined, 
Aug. 21, 1776, by "the two Mrs. Belchers, Miss Clark, Miss 
Dolly Murray, Mrs. Jones, Miss Blowers, Miss Amiel, Mr. 
Hutchinson, and Mr. Waller." At Flax Pond, June 29, 
1770, the ladies of the Wendell, Goldthwait, Wells, Gerry, 
and Winslow families joined the party. June 8, 1773. Admi- 
ral Montagu's wife and other ladies were at Mann's tavern in 
Wrentham for the night, when Rowe and the Admiral were 
fishing there. Aug. 28, 1773. At Menotomy Pond were 
Montagu and his wife and daughter. Lady Frankland and 
Henry Cromwell, the ladies Lechmere, Simpson, Inman, 
Flucker, several military and naval officers, Commissioner 
Hulton, and Collector Harrison. " We were very jolly. The 
Admirall, Capt. Williams, and I had very poor luck, the 
fish very small." 

Rowe, when visiting Plymouth for business or pleasure, did 
not fail to take advantage of ponds and brooks in that town 
and vicinity, — at Diixbury Mills, April 28, 1767, where five 
dozen trout were caught ; at Pembroke, May 20, 1769, April 
30, 1770, and May 5, 1773, each time catching fifty, fifty-eight. 

1895.] DIARY OF JOHN ROWE. 51 

and sixty trout ; at South Pond, Plymouth, Aug. 12, 1766, 
where he " caught a very large perch, measured 18 inches and 
weighed three pounds and half" ; and May 31, 1771, when he 
had ver}^ good sport, afterwards dining at Mr. Richman's. " We 
were very merry ; some young ladies came there a fishing and 
to pay a visit, particularly Miss Polly Brimhall of Plymouth 
and two daughters of Mr. Richman." 

Fishing in this neighborhood gave Rowe a glimpse of Indian 
life. May 23, 1770 : " We rose early [in Sandwich] and set 
out for Mashby, an Indian town. We took a guide, one Mr. 
Fowler. We reached Jos. Asher's, a native ; we fished there, 
found it a wild place ; we had good sport ; from thence we 
went to Mr, Crocker's, the tavern ; we dined there, and we 
were joyned by Capt. Solo. Davis, Mr. Calef, Mr. Brattle, and 
the Rev** Mr. Hawly, the Indian minister, who I take to be a 
clever man ; there were two young ladies, daughters of Mr. 
Crocker, Miss Bettsy and Miss Sally, very clever and genteel : 
from this we returned to Sandwich ; we spent the evening 
and supped at Mr. Fessenden's, and were joyned by Melatiah 
Bourn and Doctor Smith of this place. We slept at Mr. New- 
comb's ; very good beds. We passed by the most beautiful 
pond, named Wakely. May 24. We rose early and set out for 
Plymouth ; we slept at Ellis, and from thence got to the Monu- 
ment, where we slept at Isaac Jeffery's, an Indian and a preacher 
to the Indians ; his squaw had a neat wigwam. I slept an 
hour there. We dined there and were joyned by Silv"" Barthlet. 
After dinner I went down to the river and caught ten trout, 
the largest I ever saw, severall of them eighteen inches in 
length ; from thence we returned to Plymouth and spent the 
evening at Edw. Winslow's and all his family. I went to bed 
early and slept there." Another visit was made, May 6, 1772, 
to " the Indian wigwam of old Isaac at the Monument ponds," 
with a dozen very large trout as the result. 

The hooking of turtles is sometimes recorded, — one at Fresh 
Pond, June 25, 1765, weighing thirty pounds. Except "try- 
ing for some smelts" once or twice (Oct. 5, 18, 1764), Rowe 
says nothing of salt-water fishing, although the harbor of Bos- 
ton within the memory of living people has been good fishing- 
ground. He records, June 19, 1765, a strange apparition in our 
waters : " This morning our fishermen caught a large fish in the 
shape of a shark twenty foot long ; his teeth were different from 


a shark's teeth." The next day's record is : " They cut up the 
fish, and filled two large hogsheads with his liver." 

We have sports which were unknown to our fathers ; but 
they had fine fishing-resorts within one or two hours' drive 
from Boston which we can only have by long journeys to the 
Rangeley Lakes and the Adirondacks. 

In the period immediately preceding tlie Revolution, the port 
of Boston was a lively scene. War- vessels were leaving for 
or coming in from Halifax or the South or England, or going 
out on short cruises. The sailing and arrival of merchant 
vessels, several in a day, were town topics of keen interest. 
April 19, 1765. " Above thirty sail of vessells arrived from the 
Vineyard this afternoon." Rowe mentions the clearing of ships 
for Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the West Indies, Lisbon, 
Oporto, Cadiz, Gibraltar, Alicante, Madeira, Surinam, Glas- 
gow, Newcastle, Bristol, Plymouth, Whitby, London, or their 
arrival from those ports. Liverpool is mentioned once only in 
such a connection (May 21, 1768), that port not having then 
attained the prominence it has since held. Passages between 
English ports and Boston ranged from five to eight weeks ; but 
Captain Bruce made the run from London (arriving Oct. 20, 
1761) to Boston in twenty-six days, which Rowe mentions as 
" tiie shortest passage ever known." ^ Later he records a still 
shorter passage, April 20, 1769 : *' This afternoon Capt. Post 
arrived from Glasgow in a short passage of twenty-two days." 
Another short passage is noted May 8, 1767: " This day arrived 
Capt. Delano from London in 27 days passage." 

Rowe notes the arrival. May 11, 1774, of a vessel from Scot- 
land, with upwards of a hundred passengers, — the only instance 
of a body of immigrants mentioned in the Diary. 

The town was not without commercial panics ; and a se- 
rious one occurred in January, 1765. On the 16th Nathaniel 
Wheelwright " stopt payment and kept in his room. A great 
number of people will suffer by him. . . . The trade has been 
much alarmed." That evening at Mrs. Cordis's the conversa- 
tion was on his affairs ; and Mr. Inman went to the Assemblj', 

^ Tliere were sliorter passag^es pnincr oastwarcl : Kiclianl Clarke made one in 
twenty-one days (S. Curwen's Joiirnal and Letters, p. 4.'?); General Burjroyne 
made one "in less than twenty-four days" (Hutcliinson's Diary and Letters, 
i. 587). 

1895.] DIARY OP JOHN ROWE. 53 

probably to start legislative action. On the 19th Rowe Avrites : 
'• Very bad accounts. Mr. John Scollay shut up ; Mr. John 
Dennie shut up, and Peter Bourne at the North End ; am like 
to be a large sufferer by Scollay." January 20. " Was much 
out of order today, occasioned by the distress the town is in, 
occasioned principally by the failure of Mr. Wheelwright ; 
was sent for tliis forenoon on my friend Jos. Scot's affairs, 
he seems greatly distressed. . . . Was sent for by Sheriff Green- 
leaf on John Scollay's affairs. Did not go to church, my mind 
too much disturbed." January 21. " Mr. Cud worth the sheriff 
came here on business, and Mr. Gary on affairs of Wm. Hoskings 
& Co., who shut up this morning, as did my friend Joseph Scot. 
A general consternation in town occasioned by these repeated 
bankruptcies. That the General Court which are now sitting 
determine to make an act for the relief of insolvent debtors, — 
which will be very seasonable." The General Court, in con- 
sequence of the application, passed the Act of March 9, 1765, 
which was approved by the Privy Council, though such an 
act had been disallowed eight years before. Scollay's and 
Wheelwright's estates were distributed under the new Act.^ 

Arbitration was usually resorted to by merchants for adjust- 
ing disputes which arose in the way of trade. Rowe and mer- 
chants of his standing often sat on such boards, which met 
usually at the Coffee House or Colonel IngersoU's tavern. His 
records of such sessions are so frequent that it is not worth 
while to give the dates. 

A minute of one lawsuit, March 19, 1765, may be given here : 
"Went to the Superiour Court in the forenoon and heard the 
learned debate before the judges in the case of John Banister 
and others. . . . Went in the evening and heard more argu- 
ment in the case of John Banister and others ; both Mr. 
Auchmooty and Mr. Otis behaved very well, and I was 
pleased with Mr. Dana in this argument." 

Rowe's Diary discloses a great number of fires in Boston at 
this period. They started in many instances from foul chim- 
neys and bakehouses. "'T was a terrible foul chimney," is a 
record he sometimes makes (Feb. 2, 1765). The citizens, it 
must be said to their credit, worked with energy and organiza- 
tion, and generally got the better of the fire before it spread 

^ Province Acts and Resolves, iv. 777-781, 793-795. 


beyond the buildhiGf where it started (Oct. 12, 1767). There 
were as early as 1768 as many as six fire-engines, and John 
Hancock gave another in 1772.^ Rowe commends " the dex- 
terity and clever behaviour of the South End Engine men" 
(Jan. 24, 1765). On April 2, 1768, when there were sev- 
eral alarms, " one poor man lost his life by falling off a 
ladder." The fire-wards were substantial citizens like Samuel 
Adams, Hancock, Captain Adino Paddock, Captain Thomas 
Dawes, John Scollay, and Rowe, who got excused from 
further service March 9, 1772. There was a Fire Club, already 
mentioned, which was composed of the most substantial citi- 
zens. Rowe went to the fires and fought them vigorously, 
coming home afterwards " much wet and tired," and going to 
bed (Jan. 18, 1765 ; June 15, 1766). His leathern bucket, 
marked, in large letters, "John Rowe, 1760," is still in the 
possession of his grand-niece, Mrs. Payson. On June 15, 1766, 
" after six a fire broke out at the North End, and consumed 
Dr. Clark's barn, and severall other houses took fire, but by 
the dexterity of the people we soon extinguished it." The 
jail was set on fire by two prisoners Jan. 29, 1767, but 
little damage was then done. Two years later it was burned 
down, putting the neighborhood in danger. Rowe wrote, 
Jan. 31, 1769 : " The officers and army behaved extremely 
clever on this occasion, and ought to have the publick 
thanks of this town. I can truly say they were the means 
of saving it. I waited on Brigadier Poraroy and Colo. Kerr 
and thanked them for their behaviour." A fire (July 10, 
1772) on the turf of the Common behind the powder-house 
alarmed the inhabitants. In the evening of May 17, 1775, 
" about eight of clock a terrible fire broke out in the barracks 
on Treat's Wharf occupied by the 65th regiment; it was occa- 
sioned by accident or rather from great carelessness ; it de- 
stroyed 33 stores on Dock Square, mine was in great danger. 
I thought it so, and therefore removed great part of my effects 
from them ; it continued till half past one with progress ; the 
officers behaved very well; the cloathing of 4 companies be- 
longing to the 47th regiment was burnt and some fire arms 

The most disastrous fire of the period was on Feb. 4, 1767, 
breaking out in " a baker's warehouse and spreading round 

1 Memorial Plistory of Boston, iii. 161. 

1895.] DIARY OF JOHN EOWE. 55 

about the neighborhood, that it consumed more than twenty- 
houses, among which were Mr. Jonathan Williams's dwelling- 
house, several houses of Mr. John Hancock, several belonging 
to Capt. Ball ; it began at ten of clock and continued until 
three in the morning." Public and private charity was invoked 
in behalf of the sufferers, forty of whom were reduced to ex- 
treme poverty. The selectmen promptly sent a petition to the 
General Court asking for a grant of relief for the sufferers, 
and that body voted £400 to be paid to the selectmen for the 
purpose. The selectmen (Rowe being one) received a state- 
ment of losses, and distributed the fund March 6, 10, 12, 27. 
They addressed a letter to the churches, asking for contribu- 
tions April 5. In Trinity Church, May 17, there was a collec- 
tion for the sufferers by the late fire. " Mr. Walter behaved 
extremely clever on this occasion, and urged his congregation 
to their usual benevolence." The selectmen also distributed 
the fund which came from the churches (June 5, 12). A 
collection was taken, Aug. 7, 1768, in Trinity Church for suf- 
ferers by fire at Montreal. It is pleasant to note how the 
well-to-do people of Boston at that day were sympathetic, as 
they have been ever since, with others, near or remote, who 
were afflicted with misfortune. 

Curiously enough, Rowe, who was keen in noting fires, makes 
no reference to that in Fish Street, Aug. 10, 1774, attended 
■with loss of life, which is mentioned in Thomas Newell's Diary; 
but he notes, October 6 of the same year: "A large fire hap- 
pened at Salem last night ; Dr. Witaker's meeting house and 
eighteen houses were destroyed," 

The lighting of the streets of London, the significance of 
which inspired a well-known passage of the third chapter of 
Macaulay's History, took place in the last year of Charles the 
Second's reign. Somewhat less than a century later this 
reform was introduced into Boston ; and Rowe was one of its 
leaders, quite likely its originator. Thomas Newell's Diary 
mentions only the first lighting, and also his beginning (Jan, 8, 
1774) to make the tops of the glass lamps ; but Rowe gives in 
detail the progress of the enterprise, which occupied his atten- 
tion for a year.i His first entry concerning it was, March 1, 

1 Eowe does not mention the loss of the first lamps sent from England hy 
the wreck of a tea-ship off Cape Cod in December, 1773, — a fact stated in John 
Andrews's letters. 


1773 : " Afternoon I spent at Farieuil Hall with the committee 
about lighting the lamps ; present myself, Henderson Inches, 
Wm. Phillips, Benj. Austin, and Mr. Appleton." Another 
meeting, May 18 : " Attended the committee about fixing the 
lamps. We finished the north part of the town, No. 1, 2, 3, 
4 and 5 divisions; present myself, Deacon Phillips, Deacon 
Storer, Thomas Gray, Mr. Appleton, Major Daws, to which were 
the gentlemen of the severall wards, Mr. Jonathan Brown, Mr. 
John Leach, Mr. Paul Revere, Mr. Edward Procter, Mr. Thos. 
Hitchman." May 21. " This day I went with the committee 
about the lamps to view the wards No. 6, 7, and 8, which we 
finished." The same names of persons present recur, with the 
addition of John and Thomas Amory, Deacon Church and 
Major Paddock, and others. Records of various meetings are 
given, namely: May 4, 10, 13, Sept. 7, 24, 27, 1773, and Jan. 8, 
Feb. 1, 3, March 2i, 22, 24, 1774. Rowe " attended [Jan. 19, 
1774] the carpenter and blacksmith in marking out the places 
the lamps are to be fixt." The next day, he and others — the 
selectmen and the committee — "consulted on the method of 
lighting them, and had a long conference with Mr. Smith for 
that purpose." The end was reached March 2 ; and Rowe's 
entr}' the next day is, " Last evening the lamps were lighted for 
the first time ; they burnt tolerably well." The final report of 
the committee was accepted in town-meeting March 30. 

Pope's Day, November 5, with its rival North End and 
South End processions, and their contest or " battle," some- 
times at Mill Bridge on Hanover Street, is described by Rowe. 
In 1764 the sheriff, justices, and militia undertook to destroy 
the figures, but the populace was too much for them. Several 
thousand people were in attendance, and there was a fatal in- 
jury. This " foolish custom," as Rowe calls it, became in later 
years, as in 1769, 1773, and 1774, less of an affair, and then 
died out altogether. 

Tlie lottery still existed in this Puritan community, legal- 
ized for public objects. Rowe bought, ^larch 19, 1767, seven 
tickets of John Ruddock, and sold one, kept two for him- 
self, and gave the rest to Mrs. Rowe and the Inraans. 

The fashion of duelling still lingered, Feb. 23, 1765 : "Colo. 
Bourn of M'head and Jerahmiel Bowers challenged each other 
with sword and pistoll yesterday about the excise." Oct. 10, 


1773. " Tliere was a duel fought between Capt. Maltby of the 
Glasgow mau of war and Lieut. Finney of the Marines on 
Noddle's Island yesterday. Lieut. Finney was wounded in the 
breast, and its thought mortally." 

Rowe gives incidents of crimes and punishments, Sept. 11, 
1764 : " The regiment appeared in the Common this afternoon. 
One of the soldiers behaved saucily to liis captain, upon whicli 
they called a court martial and ordered him to ride the wooden 
horse ; but the mob got foul of the wooden horse and broke it, 
so that the fellow escaped." Oct. 4, 1764. " Went after din- 
ner upon Boston Neck and saw John and Ann Richardson set 
on the gallows for cruelly and wilfully endeavoring to starve 
their child [or children] ; the man behaved in the most auda- 
cious manner, so that the mob pelted him, which was what he 
deserved." March 21, 1765. " This day a woman was tryed 
for murther of her bastard child, and it appearing to the 
court she was married, she was acquitted." Jan. 11, 1770. 
''This day a villain was pilloried for forcing a girl of ten years 
age. The populace pelted him severely, but not so much as 
his crime deserved." March 28, 1771. "This day the French 
boy and a charcoal fellow stood in the pillory. The French 
boy was to have been whipt, but the populace hindred the 
sheriff doing his duty." Oct. 21, 1773. "Levi Ames was 
hanged this afternoon, many thousand spectators attended the 
execution." 1 Ames's offence was burglary; and other bur- 
glaries where Rowe himself was the victim are noted in the 
Diary (July 3, 1767 ; April 5, 1773 ; March 7, 1779). 

Boston does not seem to have been the orderly and well- 
governed town which our fathers sometimes proclaimed it to be. 
There was no constabulary force which amounted to anything 
when such a force was required. The mobs of Pope's Day, as 
already seen, had their own way, defying even the militia. 
The populace arrested at pleasure the infliction of public pun- 
ishments judicially ordered, and sometimes superadded dis- 
cretionar}^ pelting of their own (Sept. 11, Oct. 4, 1764 ; Jan. 
11, 1770 ; March 28, 1771). When the political troubles came, 
they sacked and destroyed the houses of unpopular citizens and 
magistrates. They stripped the offender naked, covered him 
with tar, decked him with feathers, and transported him in 
this plight, without hindrance, through the main thoroughfares 

1 Memorial History of Boston, ii. 486. 


as a spectacle for a jeering multitude (Oct. 28, 1769 ; May 18, 
1770 ; March 9, 1775). One cannot help asking where at such 
times were the selectmen, the twelve constables, the militia, 
Hancock and his Cadets, and the principal citizens who were 
so effective when fires were to be extinguished or patriotic 
enterprises to be executed. On the whole, Boston is now a 
safer place to live in for one who asserts the right to differ with 
his neighbors than it was in those good old days. 

There were at this time in Boston nearly one thousand negro 
slaves,^ of whom Rowe owned two or three. He mentions, 
Nov. 22, 1766 : " Last night I sent my negro Cato to Bridewell 
for a very bad fault," which is not described ; and Jan. 20, 
1768, he disposes of Cato by sending him to Jamaica. Another 
or the same Cato appears on the scene Jan. 4, 1769 : " When I 
came home I found Cato has got a soldier's sword which be- 
longed to Capt. Fordyce's company of the 14th Grenadiers, his 
name James Fairchild." Nov. 25, 1769. " I sent Cato on board 
the Rose man of war this morning." Sept. 23, 25, 1772. " My 
negro Marcellus was brought home last evening much hurt." 
" I got all the fellows taken up that abused Marcellus and tryed 
them before Justice Quincy ; the Justice ordered them to goal." 
Boston people, as appears by an entry Feb. 28, 1765, had 
interests in West India plantations : " This afternoon Mr. 
Henry Yassall and wife executed the deeds for the farm of 
negroes at Antigua." 

The mere mention of some casualties or personal incidents 
may be of interest. March 24, 1765, there was the highest 
tide Rowe " had known since he had been in New England, 
accompanied with the greatest storm, and almost incredible 
damage," driving vessels from their anchors and dismasting 
and sinking them, with great injury to wharves, — to Rowe's in 
particular of two thousand pounds ; but he adds, with resigna- 
tion, "As it's the Providence of God, I am content about it." 
High tides, with more or less injury, occurred Dec. 26, 1764, 
and Oct. 20, 1770. Rowe records a providential escape Sept. 24, 
1767 : " The sun past the equinox about 12 of clock last night. 
We had a very severe storm ; it blew as hard as I ever heard 
it, accompanied with thunder, lightning, and very heavy rain. 

1 Memorial History of Boston, ii. 439, 485. 


Mr. Walter and wife had liked to have been drowned at Peck's 
wharf." The next Sunday Mr. Walter preached " a very 
pathetick and good discourse, and very applicable to his late 
misfortune, in which we all rejoyce for God's remarkable deliv- 
erance of him and wife." 

On May 16, 1776, " a poor woman was found drowned at 
the foot of the Common, a melancholy spectacle, a daughter of 
Mr. Grant's." 

The Diary records, July 21, 1767, after a drought : " A most 
delightful rainy morning. God is very gracious to his people 
in this dry time, and all the people ought to praise his holy 

The Neck was sometimes blocked with snow so that the 
town was isolated (Dec. 20, 1766), men and beasts were frozen 
to death there (Dec. 29, 1778), and the harbor was often frozen 
as far as the Castle (Jan. 1, 1765 ; Dec 21, 1767 ; Feb. 9, 1769 ; 
Jan. 23, 1774). The bad travelling suspended communication 
with New York (Feb. 9, 1765}. Rowe sometimes rode upon the 
"new colt" or the "old mare," but generally went by chaise, 
with now and then an upset on the way (June 13, 1767), 
which drew from him the grateful expression, "Thank God 
I got no harm, only broke my fishing cane." But Mrs. Rowe, 
once driving in a carriage with horses, did not get off so easily 
(July 15, 1774). 

One Sunday " twas so very cold that Mr. Walter did not 
preach in the forenoon" (Jan. 27, 1765). Houses and counting- 
rooms were not kept as comfortable as now, and Rowe at times 
observes that the ink is freezing while he writes (Dec. 31, 1766 ; 
Jan. 10, 23, 1774). 

It may be well merelj'' to note some miscellaneous matters 
referred to in the Diary, namely: invasions of the small-pox, ac- 
companied with a general inoculation (July 6, 1769 ; May 7, 
1771 ; April 15, 1774 ; Jan. 26, 1775 ; July 13, 22, 1776) ; the 
black caterpillar's ravages, moving from northeast to southwest, 
and devouring everything in its way (July 9, 1770) ; a wonder- 
ful cure for a rattlesnake's bite, discovered by Abel Puffer (May 
10, 1766 : see Huntoon's Histor}' of Canton, 255) ; an eclipse of 
the sun (Aug. 5, 1766) ; the appearance of a comet from 12 to 
3 A. M,, with a very long tail, for five nights (Sept. 5, 1769) ; 
the arrest, trial, and acquittal of a suspected pirate (Nov. 17, 


21, 22, 28 ; Dec. 16, 1772 ; July 29, Aug. 6, 1773) ; the letting 
of Deer Island and Boston Neck by the town (April 15, 1766); 
the proposed sale of the town house (Feb. 6, 9, 1767) ; foity- 
eight applications for license to sell liquors (Aug. 6, 1766), 
and Rowe's sale of his still-house (May 8, 1769) ; women of a 
nameless class routed by a mob at Oliver's dock (July 24, 1771) ; 
a new pier head for Long Wharf (April 7, 1768) ; the paving 
of the road by the fortifications (May 25, 26, 1767) ; the laying 
out of a new street in Paddy's Alley (April 8, 13, 16, 1767); 
Thomas Hancock's gift for a lunatic asylum, and the assign- 
ment of a site for it on the Common (Sept. 19, 1764; March 
23, 25, 1765) ; Dr. Cooper's election as President of Harvard 
College (Feb. 7, 1774), and his refusal three days later to 
accept the choice, " to the great joy and satisfaction of his 
parishioners " ; a visit of the selectmen (March 10, 1768) to 
" Mary Phillips, who was born deaf and dumb and has remained 
so ever since, and is now upwards of eighty years of age " ; the 
Superior Court " making a splendid appearance" in the new 
Court House (March 14, 1769) ; the payment of fees to lawyers, 
a guinea each to John Adams at Taunton (Aug. 19, 1766) and 
to James Otis in Boston (Nov. 20, 1766). 

Extracts from John Rowe's Diary, 

1764. Sept. 29. — The Black Act takes place this day. Mr. Cockle 
[James Cockle, the Collector] suspended from his office yesterday at 
Salem, which the people at that place rejoiced at by firing guns, making 
bonfires, entertainments, &c. ; and the Surveyor- General much ap- 
plauded by the merchants in the town of Boston for his good and 
spirited behaviour. 

October 2. — Went to the Collector's and Surveyor-Generall's about 
the Molasses Act, who agreed the Advocate-General should determine 
the method of gauging molasses, whether should be Winchester measure 
or wine measure. 

Dec. 3. — Spent the evening with the committee of merchants and 
others about the loaf sugar ; present Jos. Winslow, Esq., Mr. Thos. 
Gray, Mr. Edw"* Paine, Mr. Richard Clark, Ezekiel Goldthwait, Mr. 
James Warden, Mr. Thos. Ivers, Capt. Solomon Davis, JNIr. John Den- 
nie, Mr. INlelatiah Bourne ; voted that Mr. Ivers bring an action at this 
Court against Mr. Collector for taking the duty of five shilling ster^ per 
hundred on loaf sugar cleared out at his office. 

1895.] DIARY OF JOHN ROWE. 61 

1765. Jan. 11. — Went after dinner to the Court and heard the 
tryal between Mr. Ivers and Mr. Hale [Roger Hale, the Collector] 
relative to the duties on loaf sugar ; very warm debates on both sides, 
but the jury found for the plaintiff Mr. Ivers, which was generally 
thought a good verdict. 

Feb. 12. — [Meeting of merchants with a committee of the General 
Court (names being given) on the Excise Act, with choice of Samuel 
Wells, Robert Hooper, and Justice Story as managers.] 

Feb. 13. — [Petitioners on account of the Excise heard on the floor 
of the House.] 

May 30. — Went in the evening at Blodget's with a number of the 
General Court, where they were shoeing colts, — that is, the new mem- 
bers that are chosen treat the Council and House of Representatives. 

Juhj 24. — Mr. Gerry came to town and brought an account of the 
Niger man of war taking three schooners out of the harbor of St. Johns, 
one belonging to his father and two to Epps Sergeant. 

Aug. 11. — Capt. Harlow arrived from Bristol and brought the good 
news that Mr. Pitt was again in the ministry. [Pitt, though consulted, 
did not then enter the ministry.] 

Aug. 14. — A great number of people assembled at Deacon Elliot's 
Corner to see the Stamp officer hung in effigy, with a libel on his 
breast, on Deacon Elliot's tree, and along side him a boot stuffed with 
representation which represented the Devill coming out of Bute ; this 
stamp officer hung up all day ; at night they cut him down, layd him 
out and carried in triumph amidst the acclamations of many thousands 
who were gathered together on that occasion. They proceeded from 
the So. End down the main street through the Town House and round 
by Oliver's dock , they puU'd down a new building which some people 
thought was building for a Stamp Office and did some mischief to Mr. 
Andrew Oliver's house (which I think they were much to blame). 

Aug. 16. — Heard that Mr. Andrew Oliver had resigned his com- 
mission in form, on which there was great rejoicing the last evening in 

[Vol. 11. of the Diary, pp. 185-322, from Aug. 17, 1765, to April 10, 
1766, is missing.] 

1766. April 13. — Sunday. When I came home [from church] I 
heard of an Express being brought to town giving an account of the 
repeal of the Stamp Act, which I examined into and found the greatest 
probability of its being true, and pass'd by the House of Commons on 
Feby the 8"^ last by a great majority, which appeared by a letter of 
that date from Messrs. Day and Son to Mr. Maxwell, their con-espond- 
ent in Petaxion [Patapsco or Patuxent] River, Maryland. 

April 14. — The Selectmen met this forenoon to consider and fix on 
a day for rejoycing. 


April 15, — Capt. Calef arrived from London this afternoon ; he left 
the Downs the 20"^ Feby. He brought good news about our American 
affairs, but no certainty of the repeal of the Stamp Act. 

Api-il 18. — Capt. McClean arrived from Ireland, and confirms the 
account of the Stamp Act being repealed. 

April 21. — A town meeting this forenoon to agree on a method of 
rejoicing and illuminations. 

May 16. — Capt. Shuball Coffin arrived from London about 11 of 
clock and brought the glorious news of the total repeal of the Stamp 
Act, which was signed by his Majesty King George the 3^ of ever 
glorious memory, which God long preserve and his illustrious house. 

May 19. — This day is the joyfull day indeed for all America, and all 
the people are to rejoyce this day for the joyfull news brought by these 
vessells from Loudon, that the Stamp Act is repealed. Dined at Colo. 
Ingersoll's with twenty-eight gentlemen [names given]. We drank 
fifteen toasts ; and very loyal they were, and suited to the occasion. 
In the evening there was very grand illuminations all over the town ; 
in the Common there was an obelisk very beautifully decorated, and 
very grand fireworks were displayed. Mr. Hancock behaved very well 
on this occasion, and treated every person with cheerfulness. I con- 
tributed as much to the general joy as any person ; the whole was much 
admired, and the day crowned with glory and honour. 

May 23. — [At Colonel Murray's in Rutland.] In the evening they 
had great rejoycings at Rutland ; they behaved very well, had a large bon- 
fire and many sky rocketts which I put them in a way to fire ; there was 
a genteel entertainment at the tavern ; afterwards we returned to Colo. 
Murray's, where there was a grand supper and entertainment prepared 
and many loyal healths drank. 

May 28. — Election day. Mr. Otis was chosen Speaker of the House, 
but negatived by the Governour. Mr. Saml. Adams, who has a great 
zeal for liberty, was chosen Clark of the House by one vote. 

May 29. — Mr. Thomas Cushing was chosen Speaker in the room of 
Mr. Otis, who the Governour approved off. This day the Governour 
negatived six counsillors, viz. : Colo. Otis, Colo. Sparhawk, Colo. Ger- 
rish of Newberry, Colo. Bowers of Swanzey, Mr. Dexter of Dedham, 
and Mr. Saunders of Gloster: this occasions great murmurings in some 
and rejoycings in others. Spent part of the afternoon with the House of 
Representatives, in shoeing colts. 

June "2. — Artillery election. . . . Dined by invitation with the Gov"" 
and Council at Faneuil Hall ; spent part of the afternoon at Mr. John 

June 4. — The King's birthday and a great holliday. 

June 10. — General Ruggles and Mr. Otis had some disputes and 
hard language this day on the floor of the Town House. 

1895.] DIAllY OF JOHN ROWE. 63 

Sept. 24. — The Custom House attempted to seize some wine out of 
Malcom's cellar, but were hindered from it by about two hundred people 
making their appearance in the street. The Governour and Council met 
on this affair of the seizure, but they could make nothing of it. 

Sept. 25. — The Governour and Council met again on this affair, and 
examined many evidences, but could make nothing of it.^ 

Nov. 25. — Spent the afternoon with the committee of the General 
Court, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Otis, Mr. Stephen Hall, Mr. Adams, Mr. 
Hancock, Mr. Dexter. A number of merchants were there ; am in 
hopes we shall get redress in our trade. 

Dec. 2. — [An account of a dinner given at the Coffee House by the 
merchants to Captain Gideon of the man of war the " Jamaica," at which 
Rowe presided. All the leading merchants were there, with Hancock, 
Cushing, and Otis, and twenty loyal toasts drunk, including those to the 
King and Queen and royal family, and the friends of America, — Chatham, 
Conway, Barre, and others.] 

1767. March 13. — The General Court chose commissioners to treat 
with the Government of New York about the line between them and us, 
the Lieut.-Governour, Colonel Brattle, and Mr. Sheaff of Charlestown. 

March 18. — Wednesday. This is anniversary day when the Par- 
liament of Great Britain repealed the Stamp Act [celebrated by "a very 
genteel dinner" at Colonel IngersoU's tavern, attended by the principal 
citizens, who are named, with Rowe as toastmaster]. At four of clock 
in the afternoon I was obliged to attend at Faneuil Hall, where there met 
a great concourse of people to drink the King's health, &g. , and vote of 
the town and the same toasts were drank as above. The hall was 
illuminated, also Liberty Tree, and sundry other gentlemen's houses. 
I never saw more joy than on this occasion. 

May 2^. — The Governour negatived five counsillors this morning, 
the Honble. James Otis, Joseph Gerrish, Esq., Thos. Saunders, Esq., 
Jerahmiel Bowers, Esq., and Saral. Dexter, Esq. 

Aug. 14. — This day the colours were displayed on the Tree of Lib- 
erty, and about sixty people, Sons of Liberty, met at one of clock and 
drank the King's health. 

Aug. 22. — Mr. Hancock's Union flagg was hoisted for the first time. 

A^oy. 20. — Attended the trial of thieves, and the town meeting 
which was conducted with great propriety and moderation. Capt. Blake 
arrived this afternoon, which saved the freighters above three hun- 
dred pounds lawful money, this being the time fixed to pay the dutys 
on glass, painters' colours, &c., an imposition on America in my opinion 
as dangerous as the Stamp Act. 

1 Rowe was placed by the town, Oct. 8, 1766, on a committee with Otis, Han- 
cock, Adams, and others to obtain copies of these depositions, which it had been 
proposed to have transmitted to the home government. 


Dec. 4. — Spent the afternoon with the committee for giving instruc- 
tions to the representatives, Rich^ Dana, Esq., Mr. Edw"^ Payne, Dr. 
Church, Mr. Henderson Inches and Ezek^ Price. 

1768. Feb. 11. — Spent the evening at the Coifee House, and a dis- 
aorreeable evening it was. The topick of the discourse was about the 
seizure made by Capt. Folger, and the reseiziire of it afterwards by 
Capt. Hallowell. Mr. MoUineaux, in his representation and talk, used 
the Surveyor-General, Mr. Temple, most cruelly and barbarously ; he 
abused the character of said gentleman most shamefully, and said that if 
Mr. Folger made any seizures or held this, that it would not be of any 
benefit to him, upon which one of the company asked Mr. MoUineaux who 
then would receive the benefit of Mr. Folger's part as informer, &c., and he 
reply'd " why are you at a loss, why Mr. Temple the Surveyor-General," 
and further said that there was an agreement between the Surveyor- 
General and Mr. Folger, intimating that the Surveyor-General gave 
Folger his place with a view to get money by it, and swore he believed 
it, — he Mr. MoUineaux was asked by Mr. John Erviug " surely you 
can't believe the Surveyor-General guilty of so base a design, and you 
have behaved very ill in making the company think so," his reply was 
severall times " I do believe it," upon which Mr. Erving and MoUineaux 
had some smart speeches with each other ; some of the company were 
very uneasy at these doings, and mentioned the commission that Folger 
had received from the Surveyor-General to be doubtfull and not authen- 
tick enough to make seizures. Upon which Mr. Otis said the commis- 
sion he thought was very good, but that there was one expression in it 
that some people hesitated about, and repeated the sentence in the com- 
mission, which runs thus, " and in my behalf to seize for his Majesty's 
use," — upon repeating of this sentence Mr. MoUineaux [said] "now 
gentlemen, you see that I am right in what I have said," and seemed to 
lay great stress upon these words ("and in my behalf"), signifying that 
whatever seizures were made by Folger, he the said Folger was not to 
have the profit arising from such seizures but the Surveyor-General, 
and that the Surveyor-General gave him his commission on these terms. 
I mentioned in the course of this talk that I had many times been in 
Mr. Mollineaux's company, but never heard him guilty of so great an 
indiscretion before. Present Solo. Davis, John Erving, George Bethune, 
James Otis, Wm. MoUineaux, Thos. Gray, James Warden, myself. 

12 Fehr'y. — Fryday. Dined at home with the Rev*^ INlr. "Walter, 
Mr. Tristram Dalton of Newberry, Mr. Rich'' Letchmere, INIrs. Rowe, 
and Sucky and Sally Inman present. Spent the evening at JNIrs. 
Cordis with Treas' Gray, Thos. Gray, Ezek^ Goldthwait, Melatiah 
Bourn, Solomon Davis, Mr. Tristram Dalton, John Erving, Edward 
Payne, James Otis, and James Perkins. IMr. INToUineaux was there 
and renewed his discourse as on the last evening, but soon went away. 

1895.] DIARY OF JOHN KOWE. 65 

March 1. — Spent the evening at the Merchants' Meeting. Wm. 
Phillips, Esq., was chose moderator ; there were 98 merchants present. 
Tiiey voted that it is the opinion of this company that every legal meas- 
ure for freeing the country from the present embarrassments should be 
adopted, and among [them] the stopping the importation of goods from 
Great Britain under certain limitations, then chose a committee of nine 
to fix on and report to this company on adjournment the best measures 
for carrying into execution the foregoing vote. The following gentle- 
men were chosen : Myself, Wm. Phillips, Esq., John Hancock, Esq., 
Arnold Wells, Esq., Mr. Edward Payne, Mr. Thomas Boylston, John 
Erving, Jun., Esq., Melatiah Bourne, Esq., Mr. Henderson Inches ; 
it was also voted that John Hancock, Esq., be desired to procure a coppy 
of the commissions of the Commissioners of the Customs and produce the 
same at the next meeting ; then the meeting was adjourned uutill Fryday 

March 3. — Spent the forenoon with the committee of merchants. 
Spent the afternoon and part of the evening with the committee of 
merchants, and part of the evening with the Charitable Society at 
Colo. Ingersoll's. 

3Iar. 4. — This day the Gov'' prorogued the Assembly to the 13 April. 
Spent the day with the same committee of merchants, and in the evening 
we reported to them as follows : 

The committee of merchants appointed at their [meeting] March 1*', 
1768, having duly considered what they had in charge, do report the 
following resolutions, viz. : 

In consideration of the great scarcity of money which has for several 
years been so sensibly felt among us, and now must be rendered much 
greater not only by the immense sums absorbed in the collection of 
the dutys lately imposed, but by the great checks given thereby to 
branches of trades which yielded us the most of our money and means 
of remittance, — 

In consideration also of the great debt now standing against us which, 
if we go on increasing by the excessive imports we have been accus- 
tomed to while our sources of remittance are daily drying up, must ter- 
minate not only in our own and our country's ruin, but that of many of 
our creditors on the other side of the water, — 

In consideration further of the danger from some late measures of our 
losing many inestimable blessings and advantages of the British Constitu- 
tion, which Constitution we have ever rever'd as the basis and security of 
all we enjoy in this life, therefore 

1^' That we will not for one year send for any European commodditys 

excepting salt, coals, fishing lines, fish hooks, hemp, diiok, bar lead, 

shot, wool cards, and card wire, and that the ti'ading towns in the 



province and other provinces in New England together with those 
in New York, New Jersey and Pennsilvauia be invited to accede 
2°^ That we will encourage the produce and manufactures of these 

colonies by the use of them in preference to all other manufactures. 
3'''* That in the purchase of such articles as we shall stand in need of, 
we will give a constant preference to such persons as shall subscribe 
to these resolutions. 
4* That we will in our separate capacitys inform our several correspon- 
dents of the reasons and point out to them the necessity of witholding 
our usual orders for their manufactures [in order that] the said impedi- 
ment may be removed and trade and commerce may again flourish. 
5"^ That these votes or resolutions be obligatory or binding on us from 
and after the time that these, or others singular or tending to the same 
salutary purpose, be adopted by most of the trading towns in this and 
the neighbouring colonies. 
6"^ That a committee be appointed to correspond with merchants m the 
before mentioned towns and provinces and forward to them the fore- 
going votes, and that s'd committee be impowered to call a meeting of 
the merchants when they think necessary. 

March 9 & 11. — [Meetings of the merchants' committee, the one on 
the 11th lasting the whole day.] 

March 18. — [Anniversary of repeal of the Stamp Act celebrated 
with dinner and toasts at Colonel Ingersoll's.] After these the company 
were very cheerfuU and gay, and broke up about eight of clock. A con- 
Biderable mob of young fellows and negroes got together this evening and 
made great noise and hallooing ; about eight hundred appeared in King 
Street and at Liberty Tree, and went to the North to John Williams, the 
Inspector-General, but did him no damage, which the greatest part of the 
gentlemen in town were very glad off. There were two effigies on Lib- 
erty Tree this morning marked C. P. and J. W., but were taken down 
again by Wm. Speakman, Thos. Crafts, and John Avery, Junior. 

March 21. — I spent the forenoon at the Court House to hear the 
tryal between Capt. Folger and Capt. Hallowell about the seizure of tea, 
and after the whole morning debates it was adjourned untill next Saturday 
morning. Spent part of the afternoon with the town's committee to 
draw a letter of thanks to the Farmer [.John Dickinson] for his ingen- 
ious letters; present Dr. Church, Dr. Warren, Mr. Saml. Adams, aud_ 

March 22. — Attended the town meeting all the da)', in which many 
debates about Mr. Adams, whose friends were so warm in his favor 
that the gentlemen could not get a reconsideration of the vote passed 
on Monday last [which related to Adams's accounts as collector of 

1895.] DIABY OF JOHN EOWE. 67 

May 2. — Met the merchants at the Town House in the Representa- 
tives' room ; agreed to the resolutions of the City of New York not to 
write for any goods after the first of June, nor import any after the first 
day of October untill the Act imposing dutys on glass, paper, &c., be 

May 18. — The Romney man of war, Capt. Cornell [Corner] arrived 
yesterday in Nantasket, and this day in Kiugroad. 

Jane 10. — Yesterday the Selectmen viewed the ground for a gun 
house and the north battery. A considerable mob tonight occasioned 
by a seizure belonging to Mr. John Hancock ; some damage to Mr. 
Harrison the Collector, and his boat burnt. 

June 13. — The Selectmen waited on the Gov!" and Council about 
Capt. Corner's pressing a man out of a coaster, and the affairs of the 

Ju)ie 14. — The people assembled under Liberty Tree, from thence 
removed to Faneuil Hall ; then it was [)roposed to have a regular town 
meeting called, which was accordingly done. Afternoon the town 
met at Faneuil Hall ; the people were so many that Mr. Otis the 
moderator proposed adjourning to Dr. Sewall's meeting, which was 
accordingly voted, and they met there. A committee of twenty-one 
gentlemen were chose to wait upon Gov'' Bernard with a humble peti- 
tion, which petition to him is on file, and I think a very smart petition. 
The whole twenty-one met at Mr. John Hancock's, and proceeded in 
form to Roxbury to wait on Gov"" Bernard. Mr. Otis, being chairman, 
introduced the petition with a genteel speech. The Gov'' received us 
very cordially, spoke very sensibly to some parts of the speech and 
petition, and promised an answer in the morning. The committee 
returned to Mr. Hancock's in order as follows : — 

Mr. Otis, Mr. Hancock first, 

Mr. Royal Tyler, Mr. Thos. Gushing, 

Myself, Mr. Samuel Adams, 

Mr. Joshua Henshaw, Col. Joseph Jackson, 

John Ruddock, Esq., 

Mr. Henderson Inches, Mr. Saml. Pemberton, 

Mr. Edward Payne, Mr. Melatiah Bourn, 

Mr. Richard Dana, Mr. Benj" Kent, 

Mr. Samuel Quincy, Mr. Josiah Quincy, Juu''., 

Dr. Church, Dr. Warren, 

Dr. Young and Capt Daniel Malcom, all in carriages. 

June 15. — The man of war the Romney unmoored. The town met 
again at Dr. Sewall's meeting. 

June 16. — Spent the afternoon with the town's committee to draw 
instructions to the representatives on the present difficultys that attend 


the trade of this town, myself, Dr. Warren, Dr. Church, Mr. John 
Adams, Mr. Daua, and Mr. Henderson Inches. The Selectmen were 
ordered to attend the Gov'' and Council to hear the report of their 
committee and their consultations with Capt. Corner of his Majesty's 
ship the Romney. 

June 17. — Spent the forenoon with the same committee as yester- 
day. Town meeting in the afternoon. 

Jane 18 and July 3. — [Arrival of his Majesty's sloop, the Beaver.] 

June 30. — This day the General Court behaved very steadily and 
according to the approbation of most good people who have any regard 
for their country and posterity, [voting] that they would not rescind their 
former resolutions which the Earl of Hillsborough took offence at, vide 
newspapers. Number of votes in the House, 109: 17 yeas, 92 nays. 
For my own satisfaction I record the seventeen yeas that were so mean 
spirited to vote away their blessings as Englishmen, namely, their rights, 
liberty and proper tys. 

July 8. — The Senegall man of war, Capt. Cookson, arrived here 
this day. 

July 16. — Rose early [at Flax Pond, Lynn] and went fishing ; dined 
at Mrs. Graves' ; came home, and Mrs. R. told me of the Sons of Lib- 
erty visiting Mr. Williams the evening before, and that he engaged to 
meet them on the Change this day, which he did, and great numbers, 
she says, were present ; he asked them what questions they had to ask 
him that he might answer them, but no person made him any reply. 
[This relates to John Williams, Inspector-General of the Customs.] 

July 18. — Spent the afternoon with the committee of merchants at 
the Coffee House. Present myself, John Hancock, Edward Payne, 
Henderson Inches, Melatiah Bourn, and Thomas Boylston. 

July 29. — This forenoon the Governour and Council met on affairs 
of consequence, its supposed relative to the introduction of troops, which 
has greatly alarmed the inhabitants. 

Aug. 1. — Spent the afternoon at the general merchants' meeting at 
Faneuil Hall, at which place there were present sixty-two, sixty of 
which signed an agreement I have on file not to import any goods. 
Spent the evening at Mr. Barber's insurance office ; and the silver bowl 
was this evening for the first time introduced. No. 45 weighs 45 ounces, 
holds 45 gills. [Present Hancock, Otis, Adams, and others.] 

Aug. 2. — The committee of merchants met and got further subscrip- 
tions. [The Diary records many of these meetings.] 

Aug. 8. — The merchants met at Faneuil Hall, present about 100. 

Aug. 15. — Dined at Greaton's with a number of gentlemen [Hancock, 
Otis, Samuel Adams, Warren, Church, Josiah Quinoy, Paul Revere, Scol- 
lay. Brimmer, and others], about one hundred, wlio were very jovial and 
pleasant, and in the forenoon a great number of people were at Liberty 

1895.] DIARY OF JOHN ROWE. 69 

Hall, where there was a variety of good musick exhibited, and great 
joy appeared ia every counteuaace, beiug the anniversary day of the 
Sons of Liberty. 

Sept. 9. — The Governour told me in conversation yesterday morn- 
ing tliat he had staved off the introducing troops as long as he could, 
but could do it no longer. 

Sept. 20. — Afternoon I attended the Selectmen and waited on the 
Council to consult about barracks for the troops that are expected. 

Sept. 23. — King's coronation day. The convention met at Faneuil 
Hall this day. 

Sept. 28. — This forenoon came to anchor in Nantasket Road six 
sail of men of war, supposed to have the 14th Regmt. and 29th Regi- 
ments on board. 

Sept. 29. — Arrived three more of his Majesty's ships of war from 
Halifax, so that are now in our harbour [names of eleven vessels and 
their commanders given]. 

Oct. 1. — This day the troops came ashore, the 14th and 29th Regi- 
ments and two companies of the 59th, with a company of artillery; 
they marched into the Common. Colo. Dalrymple summoned the Select- 
men ; they all met and did not think themselves obliged to take cogni- 
zance for their being quartered in town, so that the 29th pitched their 
tents in the Common, the 14th got into Faneuil Hall, and part of the 
59th at Rob' Gordon's stores. 

Oct. 2. — Sunday. I went to the Coffee House to pay a visit to Mr. 
Edington, and was most smartlj' accosted by Capt. Dundass [commander 
of one of the fleet just arrived] in the following words : " Hah, John, 
are you there ? Dammy, I expected to have heard of your being 
hanged before now, for damn you, you deserve it " — upon which I 
made reply, " Surely, Capt. Dundass, you 're joking." Upon which he 
answered, " No, damn him if he was, for you are a damn incendiary, 
and I shall see you hanged in your shoes," and repeated the same ; upon 
which I says to him, " Then you are in earnest, are you. I was in hopes 
you were joking." " No," he repeated, " damn you, I am in earnest. 
I tell you, you are an incendiary, and I hope to see you hanged yet in 
your shoes." I took notice who were present, as it was spoke about 
twelve of clock at noon. Mr. Forrest, Mr. Philip Dumaresqu, Mr. 
George Brinly, and several officers of the army who I did not know in 
the Coffee Room and entry way. I thought it prudent not to take any 
notice of it just then, but came home to dinner. 

Oct. 10. — Last night some villains cut the frame of the Guard House 
so as to render it useless. Some people make light of this affair, but I 
think the scoundrels who did it ought to be severely punished, and I 
wish they may be found out. 

Oct. 15. — Generall Gage arrived from New York at Major Byard's 


at Roxbury. The regiments were under arms and made a good appear- 
ance. The Geuerall with his attendants came into town about 4 p. m. 
The artillery saluted with 17 guns; they past and marched along the 
front of both regiments, and Capt. Willson's two companies who were 
formed in the center. 

Oct. 16. — Sunday. This morning I waited on Colo. Robertson, who 
came with General Gage ; he received me very politely. I had a full 
hour's discourse with hira about the troops. I find him to be a gentle- 
man of great abilitys and very cool and dispassionate. I took a walk 
[after afternoon service] and met General Gage and Colo. Dalrymple. 
General Gage engaged me to wait on him to-morrow morning. 

Oct. 17. — I paid Genl. Gage a visit on business, who received me 
very kindly. 

Oct. 22. — Waited on Colo. Maitland, Adjutant-Generall, to provide 
a division for the King's gunpowder in the magazine ; also attended 
Genl. Gage and Colo. Robertson. 

Oct. 23. — Sunday. The Honble. John Temple Esq.'s child was 
christened this forenoon at our church. The sponsors were Genl. Gage, 
Robert Temple, Esq. and his lady, by the name of Greenville. 

Oct. 24. — Dined at home with Generall Gage, Colo. Robinson, 
Colo. Dalrymple, Capt. Smith of the Mermaid, Colo. Maitland, Colo. 
Kerr, Capt. Kimball, Major Gambell, Capt. Sheriff, Capt. Matrin, the 
Geul.'s Secretary, Mr. Inman, INIrs. Rowe, and Sucky. 

Oct. 25. — The Romney sailed for Halifax. I waited on Colo. Rob- 
ertson this morning. The regiments mustered this day in the Common 
and made a fine appearance. Colo. Dalrymple paid me a visit this 
evening. King's coronation day. 

Oct. 27. — This afternoon the soldiers quitted Faneuil Hall. 

Oct. 29. — This day the troops went from Faneuil Hall into the 

Oct. ^\. — This morning very early a soldier of Colo. Dalrymple's 
regiment was shot for desertion. 

Nov. 3. — This morning Colo. Kerr's regiment was reviewed by the 

Nov. 7. — [General Gage and other officers dine at Cambridge at 
Mr. Inman's.J 

Nov. 8. — I paid Genl. Gage a visit this morning, who received me 
very politely and agreeably. 

Noo. 9. — Tis reported that the Commissioners [of the Customs] 
came to town this day. I saw one of them, Mr. Robinson. 

Nov. 10. — This morning Colo. Pomroy arrived with part of the 
Irish regiments No. 64 and 65. 

Nov. 13. — Sunday. The Viper man of war arrived, Capt. Lyndsay,' 

1 Robert or John Linzcc. 

1895.] DIARY OF JOHN KOWE. 71 

from Hallifax. The Commissioners and their officers all at church this 
day, and the first time they have appeared in publick. Dr. Gather wood 
arrived in the Romney man of war, Capt. Connor, from Hallifax ; in her 
the Commodore and lady, also Lord Wm. Campbell, and Capt. Goold. 
The Doctor gives the Commodore Hood a great character. 

Nov. 24. — General Gage and family went out of town this morning. 
I took my leave of the General, who behaves very politely, &c. 

Dec. 1. — Thanksgiving day. I paid a visit to Lord Wm. Campbell 
at Mr. Boutineau's, who was going on board. 

Dec. 5. — Be it remembered that Sir Thos. Rich of the Senegall 
pressed all Capt. Dashwood's hands. 

Dec. 15. — Capt. McNeal arrived from Quebec, who brought me a 
bill on the Commissioners of the Customs. I attended with Capt. Watts 
from twelve till almost three on their high mightinesses ; this behavior 
is not only very insolent, but not to be born, and for which they may 
hear more about. 

Jan. 1 0, 1769. — When I came home [in the evening] I found the Rev* 
Mr. Walter, with whom I had two hours' conversation on the times. 

Jan. 19. — Queen's Birth Day. Three regiments under arms in the 
Common, 14th, 29th, 64th; they made a fine appearance. Spent the 
evening at the Assembly for the first time ; too much confusion. 

March 13. — Town meeting. I desired my friends not to vote for 
me as Selectman, and in consequence was not chose, but Mr. Jonathan 
Mason was chose in my room. In the afternoon I went to town meet- 
ing. Mr. Saml. Adams affair came on, and the prayer of his petition 
granted, which appears to me to be a very wrong step in the town, and 
what they I am afraid will repent. 

April 12. — Some letters of Gov"" Bernard to the Earl of Hillsborough 
are sent over by Mr. Bollan, which makes great noise and censure. 

April 16. — I paid a visit to the Generall this forenoon. 

April 19. — I paid a visit to Commodore Hood this morning. 

April 24. — This afternoon Mr. Hooper of Marblehead came to town, 
and bring the melancholly account of Lieut. Panton being killed in en- 
deavoring to press some hands of Mr. Hooper's brigg, Capt. Poor, from 

May 23. — This day a special court of admiralty sat at the Court 
House on the tryall of a man that killed Lieut. Panton of the Rose. 
They consisted of the Governour, Commodore Hood, Lieut.- Gov- 
ernour, the Secretary, Judge Auchmooty, Robt. Trail, Esq., Collector 
of Portsmouth, and Mr. Nutting, Collector of Salem ; they adjourned 
to Thursday. The lawyers that pleaded for the Crown, the King's at- 
norney, Mr. Fitch his assistant; for the prisoner, James Otis, Esq., and 
John Adams, Esq. 

Jane 14. — This day Power and others were on tryal for their con- 


duct on board the Rose man of war ; their behaviour was very courageous, 
and I think veiy right. 

July 8. — When I came home [in the afternoon] I found Capt. Robt. 
Lyndsay at our house, being arrived in the Viper sloop of war from So. 
Carohna, his brother Capt. John Lyndsay, and Mr. Harry Hood. 

Aug. 1. — This forenoon Capt. Thompson in the Rippon man of war 
for England, and Gov. Bernard went home in him. Tlie flagg hoisted 
on Liberty Tree ; the bells ringing great joy to the people, a great bon- 
fire in King Street, and on Fort Hill. 

^ug. 4. — We sunk the box at my wharf this noon, and were very 
lucky. I attended the merchants' meeting this afternoon, who gave me a 
pretty tight lecture about the importation of some porter on board Jarvis. 
I wish the porter had not been imported, as tis like to make an un- 

Aug. 14. — The Sons of Liberty met at Liberty Tree, and dined at 
Robinson's at Dorchester ; they contained 139 carriages on their return. 
Mr. Hancock preceded the company, and Mr. Otis brought up the rear. 

Sept. 5. — In the evening an affray happened at the Coffee House 
between Mr. Robinson the Commissioner and James Otis, Esq. ; its 
said Otis is much bruised. [Otis brought an action against Robinson. 
Rowe was present at the trial, July 25, 1771, and records, July 26, the 
result, a verdict of £2000 sterling damages in favor of the plaintiff.] 

Sept. 6. — I find the inhabitants greatly alarmed at the usage Mr. 
Otis met with ; tis generally thought he was very rascally treated ; 
this afternoon the sheriff took Mr. Brown, Esq., formerly of Salem, 
for being accessory in beating Mr. Otis ; he was carried to Faneuil Hall, 
and examined before Justice Dana and Justice Pemberton, and followed 
by a great number of people, I believe about two thousand. Mr. Murray 
was there, and used rouglily by the people. 

Sept. 28. — Dined at his Honor the Lieut.-Governor's, with him, his 
two daughters, his two sons Thomas and Elisha, Mr. Harris, a gentle- 
man from St. Christopher's, Mr. Birch and Mr. Paxton, two of the 
Commissioners, for the first time since their arrival I have been in their 
company, and which I did not know now. 

Sept. 30. — This day the Custom House officers made a large seizure 
from Capt. John Homer, who I take to be a very honest, good man, 
and for which I am very sorry should happen at this time. 

Oct. 3. — This morning the mercliants met at Faneuil Hall to con- 
sider what measures should be taken about Capt. Bryant's cargo. 

Oct. 4. — This day there was a town meeting, and the transactions 
are agreed to be printed to-morrow. 

Oct. 28. — Mr. Mein's publication that appeared to-day has given 
great uneasiness, and this evening he was spoke to by Capt. Dashwood. 
Some people getting around, he got into Ezek' Price's office, and from 


there fired a pistoll and wounded a grenadier of the 29th regiment iu the 
arm. Warrants were issued out to secure him, but he could not be 
found. In the evening a large mob assembled and got hold of one 
George Greyer, an informer, who they stript naked and pay'd [painted] 
him all over with tarr, and then covered him with feathers and put him 
in a cart and carried him througli all the main streets of the town, huz- 
zaing, &c., and at nine dismissed him ; this matter occasioned much 
terror, &c., in some fearful people among the inhabitants. When this 
happened I was with the Possee. 

1770. Jan. 1. — This afternoon the committee of merchants came 
to wait on me about Mr. Wm. Sheaffe's affair, Deacon Phillips, Wm. 
Dennie, Wm. Greenleaf, Mr. MoUiiieaux, and John Ruddock, Esq. 

Jan. 9. — Dined at home with his Honor the Lieut.- Governour, his 
brother Foster Hutchinson, Esq., Col. Dalrymple, Capt. Caldwell, Mr. 
Nicholas Boylston, Mr. Inman, Mr. John Lane, and Mrs. Rovve. 

Jan. 17. — Spent the afternoon at the merchants' meeting at Faneuil 
Hall, and part of the evening at the Coffee House. This day the Body 
of merchants visited Mr. Wm. Jackson. 

Jan. 18. — The merchants met again this day, and the whole Body, 
as they are called, visited the sons of his Honor, Mr. Theopliilus Lillie, 
Mr. John Taylor, Mr. William Jackson again, and Mr. Nat. Rogers. 
They adjourned untill to-morrow ten of clock. 

Jan. 19. — The merchants met again to-day. Messrs. Hutchinson 
agreed to deliver up. 

Jan. 23. — The Trade met again to-day at Faneuil Hall, which 
highly displeased the Lieut.-Governour, who sent the sheriff and 
ordered them to disperse, which they took no notice of. Colo. Dalrymple, 
I believe, ordered his regiment to keep under arms all night. The 
Body voted said Colo. Dalrymple should be cashiered. 

Feh. 26. — This afternoon the boy that was killed by Richardson was 
buried, and I am very sure two thousand people attended his funerall. 

March 3, — A quarrel between some of the 29th regiment and the 
ropemakers yesterday and to-day. 

March 5. — Monday. This night the 29th regira' on duty. A 
quarrel between the soldiers and inhabitants ; the bells rung ; a great 
number assembled in King Street. A party of the 29th under the com- 
mand of Capt. Preston fired on the people ; they killed five, wounded 
several others, particularly Mr. Edw*^ Payne in his right arm. Capt. 
Preston bears a good character ; he was taken in the night and com- 
mitted, also seven more of the 29th. The inhabitants are greatly 
eniaged, and not without reason. 

March 6. — Most all the town in uproar and confusion. The Gov"" 
and Council met. The cryer went about to warn a town meeting at 
eleven of clock. The inhabitants met at Faneuil 'Hall ; they chose a 



respectable committee to wait on his Honor the Lieut. -Governour to 
desire tlie troops might be removed from the town. Upon which he 
consulted Colo. Dalrymple and Colo. Kerr. The Lieut. -Governour 
returned for answer that the 29th regiment should go to the Castle and 
the 14th regiment remain in town. Afternoon the inhabitants met at 
the Old South Meeting House ; after some debate they unanimously 
voted not to accept the Lieut.- Governour's proposals, but chose another 
committee of seven to wait on him again and insist on all the troops 
being removed from the town, and without this is complyed with, it 
would not be satisfactory to the inhabitants. The committee went and 
returned that his Honor would order both regiments to the Castle, and 
Colo. Dalrymple consented to it ; this gave great joy to the inhabitants, 
and I believe a generall satisfaction, so that they went from the meeting 
very peaceably to their habitations. 

March 7. — A military watch to-night. 

March 8. — I attended the funeral of the four unhappy people that 
were killed ou Monday last. Such a concourse of people I never saw 
before, — I believe ten or twelve thousand. One corps with their rela- 
tions followed the other, and then the selectmen and inhabitants. A 
military watch again to-night. 

March 9. — I went and paid a visit to Capt. Preston in goal, who I 
found in much better spirits than I expected. Military watch. 

March 10. — Yesterday two companies of the 29th went to the Castle, 
and four companies more went this day ; still a military watch. 

March 12. — The remainder of the 2yth went to the Castle this day; 
still a military watch. 

March 15. — Spent the afternoon with the town committee, myself 
chairman, John Ruddock, Esq., Isaac Smith, Wm. Dennie and Mr. 
Timothy P^itch, at the Coffee House. 

March 16. — Mr. Otis got into a mad freak to-night, and broke a 
great many windows in the Town House. All the 14th regiment are 
gone to the Castle, the last of them this day. Capt. Robson and Capt. 
Miller both sailed for London this forenoon, in Capt. Robson. Mr. 
Robinson, one of the Board of Commissioners, went passenger. 

March 17. — This afternoon another of the unhappy sufferers was 
buried from Faneuil Hall. The General Court sitting at Cambridge, 
which will be the cause of a quarrell between the Lieut.-Governour and 
the House of Representatives. 

March 18. — Colo. Dalrymple sent for me, and I paid him a visit. 
T was glad to find that Colo. Dalrymple was pleased with the answer to 
his letters by return of the express. 

March 19. — Town meeting again to-day. The town voted a vessell 
to be hired to carry home dispatches, and Capt. Dashwood offered him- 
self a candidate to carry them. 


April 18. — Mr. Hancock was chosen Speaker of the House pro tem- 
pore, and negatived by the Lieut.-Governour. Colo. Warren was chose 
in his room and approved. 

April 20. — I attended the meeting of the Trade, as it is called ; 
they passed a vote 1 did not like. The infamous Richardson on 
tryall to-day. 

April il. — Richardson was found guilty by the jury. I attended 
the merchants' meeting this forenoon. 

April 22. — This afternoon Mr. Otis behaved very madly, firing guns 
out of his window, that caused a large number of people to assemble 
about him. 

April 24. — Capt. Scot brings an account of the repeal of the dutys 
on glass, oyl, paper, and painters' colours, but the duty on tea still re- 
mains. Tis said our Lieut.-Governour is made Governour; he nega- 
tived Gushing as Commissary Generall. 

April 25. — • Merchants' meeting. I attended. I was to my great 
mortitication chose a committeeman. 

April 26. — Attended merchants' meeting. I did not approve much 
of their proceedings ; think them too severe. 

May 16. — Yesterday Lord Drummond, Colo. Robinson, Colo. Dal- 
rymple, and Jos. Goldthwait paid Mrs. Rowe and Sucky a visit. 

Afuy 17. — This morning the 29 regiment marched from the Castle 
to Providence. 

3Iay 18. — Just as I was going to bed there was a very great halloo- 
ing in the street, and a mob of upwards a thousand people ; it seems 
they had got an informer, and put him in a cart covered with tarr and 
feathers, and so exhibited him thro' the streets. 

June 4. — [Artillery election. Dinner at Faneuil Hall, where the 
Lieutenant-Governor, officers, and citizens were present.] Spent part 
of the evening with the House of Representatives at the Province House 
in drinking his Mnjesty's health. A great many gentlemen attended 
this publick mark of loyalty to his Majesty and family. 

June 6. — Town meeting. Mr. John Adams was chose a member 
for the town. 

June 14. — In the afternoon I paid the Lieut.-Governour a visit at 
his seat at Milton. 

July 22. — Capt. Smith of the Nassau arrived from London, and 
gives an account of the prorogation of the Parliament, the 20th of May, 
without repealing the duty on tea. The people, I hope, will have virtue 
enough never to make use of it as long as the duty is demanded. 

July 24. — This afternoon the Body, as they are called, met, and just 
before some of them proceeded through the streets with Dr. Young at 
their head, with three flags flying, drums beating, and a French horn. 
Thos. Baker carried one of them, for which he is much blamed by me. 


The meeting to-day will, I believe, prove very prejudicial to the mer- 
chants and trade of the town of Boston. 

July 26. — The Gov'' offered me the Colon's Commission. 

July 2S. — Sam. Adams, Wm. Molliueux, Dr. Warren, and D,". 
Young paid me a visit this evening. 

Aug. 14. — The Rev"^ Mr. Whitfield came to town this day. A large 
party of the Sous of Liberty dined this day at the house of Thos. Carnes 
at Dorchester. 

Sept. 10, — This day the Council set, and the Lieut.-Governour deliv- 
ered up the Castle unto Colo. Dalrymple by express order from his 
Majesty in Council. I spent the evening at the Coffee House with the 
merchants; present 24. 

Sept. 11-15. — [Rowe attends meetings of the merchants, or " Body," 
from 50 to 100 being present ; and on the 15th " they came to a conclu- 
sion to forward a letter to the trade at Philadelphia."] 

Oct. 9. — I went on boai'd the Rose with Capt. Caldwell, from thence 
to the Castle, and from thence on board the Roraney, and dined with 
Commodore Hood, his lady, his son, Major Butler of the 65th, INIajor 
Powell of the 38th, Dr. Petersby, Mr. Thomas, and Mr. West. I re- 
turned and spent the evening with the committee of merchants at the 
Coffee House, Henderson Inches, John Amory, Edward Payne, Isaac 
Smith, and myself. Capt. John Linzee arrived in the Beaver from 

Oct. 16. — Spent the evening at home with Capt. John Lynzee, 
Mrs. Rowe, Sucky, and Sally Inman. 

Oct. 19. — I dined at home with the following company : Capt. Bar- 
clay of the Salisbury, Capt. Hide Parker of the Boston, Capt. Benj. 
Caldwell of the Rose, Capt. Bond of the Gibraltar, vSir Thomas Rich 
of the Senegall, Capt. John Lynzee of the Beaver, Colo. Dalrymple 
and Capt. Mason of the 14th reg', INIr. Inman, Mrs. Rowe, and Sucky 

Oct. 23. — The judges of the Superior Court met to-day, and ordered 
the triall of Capt. Preston to-morrow. 

Oct. 24, — Capt. Preston's trial came on. 

Oct. 25. — Capt. Preston still on tryall. 

Oct. 26. — Capt. Preston still on tryall. 

Oct. 27. — Capt. Preston still on tryall ; adjourned untill Monday. 

Oct. 29. — Capt. Preston still on tryall. The judges gave their opin- 
ion in his favor. The jury's verdict for Capt. Preston, not guilty. 

Nov. 18. — Great talk of a Spanish war, and a report of the plague 
being broke out in the island of Ilispaniola. 

Nov. 20. — A ship and a schooner arrived from. Hispaniola ; were 
ordered to perform <{uarantine. 

Dec. 5. — This day the tryall of the soldiers ended [the trial had been 


going on since Nov. 28] ; six of them were acquitted, and two were 
found guilty of manslaughter. 

1771. Jan. 3. — [Concert and dance at Concert Hall. Colonel 
Dairy mple and officers of the navy present.] 

Jan. 18. — [" The Queen's birthday, guns firing, jovial day " ; dance 
at Concert Hall. Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, and officers of the 
army and navy present, " commissioners, all the best people in town : 
a general coalition, so that harmony, peace, and friendship will once more 
be established in Boston."] 

Jan. 29. — Spent an hour with Mr. James Otis, who I found in a 
gloomy way. 

March 14. — The Governour's [Hutchinson] commission read to-day, 
also the Lieut.-Governour [Andrew Oliver] ; the company that waited 
on the Governour were gentlemen of reputation and the best fortunes. 
I dined at Mr. Geo. Erving's with him, Mrs. Waldo, Mr. John Erving, 
Mr. Inman, Mr. Porter the Comptroller of the Board, Mr. Robt. Hallo- 
well, Comptroller of the Customs, and Mr. John Lane, and spent the 
evening at the Assembly, which was very brilliant. 

March 15. — Afternoon the merchants met at the British Coffee 
House to pi-epare an address to the Governour. Present Rich'* Clark, 
Jos. Green, myself, John Erving, George Erving, Thos. Gray, Hen- 
derson Indies, Edw** Payne, Melatiah Bourne, Danl. Hubbard, Ezekiel 
Goldthwait, John Deunie, John Amory, and Solomon Davis, and spent 
the evening there with most of the same company. 

March 18. — The merchants waited on his Excellency the Governour 
with their address ; present 106. 

April 3. — This day the General Court meets at Cambridge. The 
Governour was met by the gentlemen of Cambridge and escorted to the 
College, where there was an oration spoke in Latin by one of the 

May 7. — I attended town meeting for the choice of representatives. 
Mr. Otis, Mr. Cushing, Mr. Saml. Adams, and Mr. Hancock were chose 
by a great majority. 

June 16. — There were three seizures made, some tea at Plymouth, 
a schooner from St. Peters with brandy, wine, &c., another schooner that 
short entered her cargoe of molasses belonging to Mr. Forster of Cape 
Ann. These affairs give great uneasiness, and tis believed will raise 
the minds of the people. 

June 17. — Another sloop was seized this day from St. Peters by 
Capt. Parker of the Boston man of war. 

Aug. 17. — I am very busy in sending provisions off to the ships. 

Sept. 4. — I dined on board the Beaver, Capt. John Linzee. The 
Beaver people made a seizure, for which I am sorry. 

Nov. 16. — The printers of the Massachusetts'Spy was sent for by 


the Gov"" and Council ; they ordered the King's attorney to prosecute 

1772. Feh. 5. — Mr. Goldthwait tohl us of a conference between him 
and Molliueux, very extraordinary, wanting Mr. G. to destroy Josiah 
Quincy and Beuj° Kent.-^ 

March 5. — A town meeting this morning ; they adjourned to Dr. 
Sewall's meeting house, where there was an oration spoke by Dr. 
Warren on the memory of this day, two year ; tis said upwards of four 
thousand people were present. . . . There was an exhibition at Mrs. 
Clappam's in King Street this evening ; a great many spectators. 

April 19. — James Otis came to town this day. 

June 4. — [King's birthday celebrated by parade of Colonel Erving's 
regiment, the Grenadiers, and Major Paddock's company ; visit to the 
Governor at the Council Chamber ; and a ball at Concert Hall, attended 
by the admiral and other officers of the navy.] 

June 24. — Wednesday, St. John's Day. Dr. Warren and his lodge 
walked in procession to Dr. Byles' church, where a sermon was preached 
by Mr. Saml, Fairweather. I dined with the lodges under my care at 
Brother Brackett's [names of the brethren given]. 

July 7. — Colo. Hancock turned out this forenoon with the Cadet 
company ; they made a good figure and behaved very well throughout 
the whole of the exercise. The whole regiment appeared in the Common 
this afternoon, also Major Paddock's company; the whole behaved 
much better than usual. 

October 31. — After dinner I rode over to Bracket's, where I spent 
an- hour with Treasurer Gray, John Cotton, and we were joyned by 
James Otis, who [had] been to wait on Gov"" Hutchinson as a committee 
man from the Town of Boston. 

Nov. 2. — I attended Mr. John Adams this morning about Colo. Lee's 

Nov. 16. — The Admirall sent for me this morning and told me about 
the fresh beef contract extending to New England, and demanded a 
supply for the ships at Rhode Island. 

1773. Feb. 8. — This morning my brigg sailed for So. Carolina, 
Capt. Skimmer. Young Josiah Quincy went passenger. 

March 5. — Dr. Church performed an oration at Dr. Sewall's meet- 
ing, the judges say to great acceptance. This evening an exhibition in 
Mrs. Clapham's balcony. A great concourse of people in King Street 
of all sorts, and a large number to remember the 5th of March, 1770, 
assembled at Mrs. Clapham's. 

May 22. — Our commissioners returned home last night from the 

^ This record without further information is not intelligible. The "Josiah 
Quincy" must have been the "Junior," as tlie father retired from business to 
his estate in Braintree in 1756. 

1895.] DIAKY OF JOHN KOWE. 79 

Congress of New York about the Hue, which was held at Hartford ; 
they have adjusted the affair to the satisfactiou of the Government. 
Present Gov"". Hutchinson, Genl. Brattle, Colo. Hancock and Major 

May 27. — Two of the Commissioners [of Customs] were very much 
abused yesterday when they came out from the publick dinner at Con- 
cert Hall, Mr. Hulton and Mr. Hallowell. W" Molineux, W" Dennie, 
Paul Revere and severall others were the principall actors. 

June 4. — King's birthday, aged 35. Colo. Hancock and Company of 
Cadets, Major Paddock and artillery, Colo. Erving and the Regiment, 
Colo. Phipps and Company, all made their appearance in the Common ; 
such a quantity or rather multitude of people as spectators I never saw 
before ; they behaved very well. 

July 25. — The Reverend Dr. Cooper's Meeting House, built new, 
was preached in for the first time this day. 

Aiuj. 14. — This day the Sons of Liberty held their annual feast at 
Roxbury in the training field by John Williams' ; there was upwards 
of four hundred that dined there. 

Oct. 4. — I visited the Admirall this morning, and settled the accounts 
for July and August navy matters with Mr. Atkinson. 

Oct. 25. — King's accession to the throne. The Cadets under arms. 
General muster at Cambridge. 

Nov. 2. — This morning the Rev** Mr. Walter and Mr. Parker paid 
me a visit on affairs of our cimrch. When I got abroad I found an 
advertisement stuck up at almost every corner as follows : — 

" To the Freemen of this and the Neighbouring Towns, — Gen™, 
you are desired to meet at Liberty Tree this day at Twelve of Clock at 
noon, then and there to hear the Persons to whom the Tea shipped 
by the East India Company is consigned make a publick Resignation 
of their Office as Consignees upon Oath and also swear that they will 
re-ship any Tea that may be Consigned to them by said Company by the 
first Vessell sailing for London." 

Boston, Nov. 3d, 1773. O. C, Secretary. 

Nov. 3. — This day the inhabitants of the town are alarmed, occa- 
sioned by the advertisement of yesterday. The gentlemen to whom 
the tea was supposed to be consigned did not obey the summons and 
make their appearance at Liberty Tree, upon which the Sons of Lib- 
erty appointed a committee to go and wait of them to know their deter- 
mination, upon which the committee with a large concourse of people 
went from Liberty Tree to the store of Mr. Rich'' Clark and Sons at the 
bottom of King Street, where they found Mr. Rich"* Clark, Mr. Benj'" 
Faneuil, the Governour, two sons, ^ and Mr. Jos. Winslowof Marshfield, 

1 This probably means the Governor's two sons. 


who are the gentlemen these teas are supposed to be consigned to. 
There was several of their friends there with them, Colo. Hatch of 
Dorchester, Judge Lee of Cambridge, Mr. Nat. Cary, Mr. Tho^ Laugh- 
ton, Mr. John Winslow, and many others. Mr. Mollineaux, as chair- 
man of this committee, then read to them a paper, and produced another 
which they required them to sign, &c. Mr. Rich** Clark and the other 
gentlemen gave them for answer, they would not comply with their 
request, or words to that purpose ; this was an unexpected answer to 
them, and has given them much displeasure. The principal people 
that accompanied Mr. Molliueux were as follows : Mr. Sam' Adams, 
Mr. W" Dennie, Mr. John Pitts, Col. Heath of Roxbury, Dr. Church, 
Dr. Warren, Dr. Young, Capt, Jn° Matchet, Capt. Hopkins, Nat Barber, 
Gabriel Jobnnot, Ezek' Chever, and about five hundred more as near 
as I could guess. I spent the evening at the Bunch of Grapes, Colo. 
Ingersoll, with Treas. Gray, Tiios. Gray, James Warden, Nat Cary, 
Geo. Erving, Melatiah Bourn, Jos. Scot, Jos. Blanchard, Thos. 
Brattle, Tuthill Hubbard, Jos. Winslow, Jos. Goldthwait, John Cotton, 
Solo, Davis, Edw*^ Davis, W"" Davis, and Sam' Quincy. The same piece 
was posted up this day as yesterday with this addition : '' Show me the 
man that dare take this down." 

Nov. 4. — The town very quiet this day. I dined at Bracketts on 
Boston Neck on turtle. . . . Spent the evening at the Possee. . . . 
Thos. Palmer Esq. had his ball to-night at the Concert Hall. 

Nov. 5. — This day there is to be a town meeting. Mr. Palmer's 
ball was very brilliant; there were upwards of two hundred gentlemen 
and ladies. Very quiet for a Pope Night. 

Nov. 6. — Town meeting again this forenoon. 

Nov. \\. — The geese flew to the s°ward yesterday. 

Nov. 12. — The Gov"" sent Colo. Hancock an order for him to hold 
his company in readiness in case of any riot or tumult happening. 

Nov. 17. — This morning Capt. Scot arrived from London ; he brings 
advice that Hall, Loring, Coffin, and Bruce are to bring the tea from 
the East India Company. This a measure that is generally disap- 
proved, and will remain the great occasion of disagreement between 
England and America. 

Nov. 18. — Last night a considerable body of people paraded thro' 
the streets and attacked the house of Mr. Ricli*^ Clark. One of his 
family fired a gun from the house, but luckily did no hurt. They broke 
all his windows and window frames, but very little other damage. This 
morning a town meeting was called on this and the tea affair. Another 
committee chose. The gentlemen to whom the tea is consigned are 
still resolved to pursue such orders as they may receive. 

Nov. 19. — This day the gentlemen to whom the tea is consigned 
petitioned the Governor and Couucill relative their affairs. 

1805.] DIARY OP JOHN ROWE. 81 

iVby. 23. — The Governor and Councill met this morning on the 
tea matters. 

Nov. 28. — Sunday. This morning was bro' me a threatening letter 
signed " Determined," which is on file. This agitated my mind, and I 
did not go to church. Capt. Hall arrived from London. Great noise 
about the tea on board of Capt. Hall. 

Nov. 29. — This morning there were papers stuck up to the follow- 
ing purpose : "Friends, Brethren, Countrymen ! That worst of Plagues, 
the Detestable Tea, ship'd for this Port by the East India Company, is 
now arrived in this harbour ; the Hour of Destruction or manly Oppo- 
sition to the INIachinations of Tyranny stares you in the Face ; every 
Friend to his Country, to himself and Posterity is now called upon to 
meet at Faneuil Hall at nine of clocli, this Day (at which time the 
Bells will begin to Ring) to make a united and successful Resistance to 
this last worst and most Destructive Measure of Administration. 

Boston, Nov. 29, 1773." 

In consequence of the above notification about one thousand people 
met at Faneuil Hall, where they past a vote that they would at all events 
return this tea ; from Faneuil Hall they adjourned to the Old South 
Meeting ; afternoon they met again and adjourned untill the morning ; 
there were in the meeting this afternoon ab' twenty-five hundred people 
as near as I could guess. 

Nov. 30. — The Body met again this morning. The Gov' sent them 
a message advising them to depart at their perill. They took but little 
notice of the message ; tliey met again this afternoon. I told him that 
I had purchased a cargo for Capt. Bruce' ship, that it was on the 
wharff, and that Capt. Bruce when he arrived would apply to the 
Body, and that I would endeavor to prevail on him to act with reason 
in this affair, and that I was very sorry he had any tea on board, — and 
which is very true, for it hath given me great uneasiness. I staid 
sometime at the meeting and was chose a committee man much against 
my will, but I dare not say a word. After dinner I was sent for by the 
Body by two messengers, John Ingersoll and Jos. Eyres. This was at 
the motion of Mr. Hancock. I wish he had omitted it.^ 

Dec. 1 . — Met the Committee ; present Sam Adams, Jno. Hancock, 
Jonathan Williams, myself. 

Dec. 2. — Capt. Bruce arriv'd this morning from London. 

Dee. 3. — This morning Capt. Bruce and I was sent for by the com- 
mittee relative the tea on board him ; they ordered him to Griffins 
Wharff and gave him the same directions as to Capt. Hall. 

Dec. 8. — Capt. Coffin arrived in Nantasket Road with the small- 
pox, and part of the tea. 

1 A note of Rowe to Thomas and Elislia Hutchinson, other consigrnees of the 
tea, offering to advance money to them to pay the dutyl will be found in "Diary 
and Letters" of Governor Hutchinson, i. 97. 



Dec. 11. — This forenoon a committee was sent to me ab' Brace's ship, 
Dr. Warren, W" Mollineux, John Pitts, to know when she would be 
unloaded and many other questions. 

Dec. 16. — I being a little unwell staid at home all day and all the 
evening. The Body meeting in the forenoon adjourn'd untill afternoon. 
Broke up at dark. Several things passed between JNIr. Rotch^ and them. 
A number of people appearing in Indian dresses went on board the three 
ships Hall, Bruce, and Coffin ; they opened the hatches, hoisted out the 
tea, and flung it overboard ; this might, I believe, have been prevented. 
I am sincerely sorry for the event. Tis said near two thousand people 
were present at this affair. 

Dec. 18. — The affair of destroying the tea makes great noise in the 
town ; tis a disastrous affair, and some people are much alarmed. I can 
truly say I know nothing of the matter, nor wiio were concerned in it. 
I would rather have lost five hundred guineas than Cap' Bruce should 
have taken any of this tea on board his ship. 

Dec. 31. — The people of Charlestowu collected what tea they could 
find in the town and burnt it in tlie view of a thousand spectators. There 
was found in the house of one Withington of Dorchester about half a 
chest of tea ; the people gathered together and took the tea, brought it 
into the Common of Boston, and burnt it this night about eleven of clock. 
This is supposed to be part of the tea that was taken out of the ships 
and floated over to Dorchester. 

1774. Jan. 7. — I paid Admiral Montagu a visit this morning, and 
found him very angry, I think without reason ; be that as it may, if he 
is angry he may be pleased again, &c. I wish the good wishes of all 
mankind, and should esteem his favors ; but as for his business, that don't 
give me any concern : he has taken it away without just cause. 

Jan. 25. — .John Malcom having done some violence to a man with 
a sword enraged the multitude that they took him and put him into a 
cart, tarr'd and feathered him, carrying through the principal streets of 
this town, with a halter about him, from thence to the gallows, and 
returned through the main street, making great noise and huzzaing. 
I did not see the number attending, but tis supposed by the people that 
did there were upwards of twelve hundred people ; tis said that Malcom 
behaved with great fortitude and resolution. This was looked upon by me 
and every sober man as an act of outrageous violence, and when several 
of tlie inhabitants applyed to a particular justice to exert his authority 
and suppress the people and they would support him in the execution of 
his duty, he refused. 

Jan. 26. — A great concourse of people were in quest of the infa- 
mous Richardson this night. They could not find him ; very lucky 
for him. 

1 Rowe notes Francis Rotcli's sailing for London Jan. 0, 1774, and return 
May IG. 

1895.] "DIARY OF JOHN ROWE. 83 

Jan. 27. — The Generall Court met yesterday. The Governour's 
speech much admired. 

Feb. 8. ^ The Judges of the Superior Court returned their answers 
to the House this day. Judge Trowbridge, Judge Ropes, Judge Foster 
Hutchinson, and Judge Cushing are willing to receive their salaries as 
granted them by the General Court, and relinquish their grants from 
the Crown. The Chief Justice, Peter Oliver, Esq., has received part 
of his money as salary granted him by the Crown already, and will 
not relinquish that grant ; therefore the House voted his answer not 

Feb. 11. — The House of Assembly passed several resolves against 
the conduct of the Chief Justice, Peter Oliver, Esq., which may be 
fully seen in Fleet's and Edes's and Gill's papers, and tis my opinion 
they '1 repent of their resolutions ; they are iu direct opposition to 
government at home. 

Feb. 15. — The Superior Court met and adjourned untill this day 
week upon the account of the Chief Justice Peter Oliver. [Rowe gave 
a dinner to public characters, of whom Samuel Adams was one.] 

Feb. 19. — Yesterday the whole House presented in a body a remon- 
strance to the Gov"' relative to the Chief Justice Mr. Oliver. 

Feb. 22. — This day the Superior Court adjourned to June, which 
has given great uneasiness. 

Feb.^Ti. — I dined at home with the Honble. John Hancock, Esq., 
Major Joseph Hawley of Northampton, Mr. Robt. T. Paine of Taunton, 
Mr. John Pickering of Salem, Jedediah Prebble of Falmouth, Casco 
Bay, Mr. Isaac Lathrop of Plymouth, the Honble. W™ Sever of King- 
ston, Mr. Gorham of Charlestown, Mr. Inman, Mrs. Inman, Mrs. Rowe, 
and Geo. Inman. 

March 5. — Mr. Hancock delivered an oration this day at Dr. Sewall's 
meeting-house to the greatest number of people that ever met on the 
occasion. I tryd to get in, but could not. Some gentlemen sjieak of the 
oration with great applause. 

March 8. — Last evening the tea brought by Capt. Gorham in the 
Brigg Fortune was destroyed. This afternoon his Honor the Lieut.- 
Governour Andrew Oliver, Esq., was buried as follows. . . . Through 
some misunderstanding or blunder the gentlemen of the Council! did 
not attend this funerall, and but very few of the House of Representa- 
tives. There was, after Colo. Hancock's company had fired and the 
funerall over, as the relatives were retiring, some rude behaviour. 

March 12. — Capt. Solo. Davis and I had a few words about trifles ; 
he was wrong. I took him up a little too quick. I am sorry, as I 
believe him honest but too volatile. 

April 8. — I rose early and went down to my wharff, and there had 
a long conversation with Admiral Montagu. 


April 17. — Mr. Henry Knox and Miss Lucy Flucker paid us a visit. 
[They were married June 16, 1774.] 

April 18. — This day the Admirull made his son George Montagu 
Post, and gave him command of the Foye in the room of Capt. Jordan, 
who has liberty to go home ; he also made old Mr. Thornborough mas- 
ter and commander. The court martial set this day to try Lieut. Rogers 
on board the Active [names of members of the court]. The result we 
shall soon know. 

April 24. — Tlie Post, Mr. Peter Mumpford, brings an account that 
the tea ship is arrived from Antigua to New York last Monday at 
Sandy Hook. 

April ZO. — This evening the York paper brings an account of the 
destruction of eighteen boxes of tea belonging to Capt. Chambers. 

3Iay 10. — Tlie annual town meeting; the four old representatives 
were chosen, Saml. Adams, John Hancock, W™ Phillips, and Thos. 
Gushing ; they were almost unanimously chosen. The Harmony, Capt. 
Shayler, arrived from London, and brings the severest Act ever was 
penned against the town of Boston. 

May 13. — Town meeting this day, relating to the distressing situa- 
tion of this town, occasioned by a late Act of Parliament [Boston Port 
Bill] for blocking up the harbour of Boston, which is and will [be] 
a great evill ; at present there is no describing the circumstances. The 
Lively man of war, Capt. Bishop, is arrived this day and brought out 
Generall Gage, our new Governour. God grant his instructions be not 
severe, as I think him to be a very good man. 

May 14. — Spent most part of the day with the town's committee 
at the Representatives' room. Present Saml. Addams, myself, John 
Addams, Thos. Gushing, W™ Phillips, Henderson Inches, William Mol- 
lineux, Dr. Warren. 

May 16. — I spent both parts of the day with the town's committee 
at the Town House. Present Mr. Samuel Adams, John Adams, Esq., 
Josiah Quincy, jun""., Esq., W" Phillips, Esq., Mr. Henderson Inches, 
Mr. AVilliam MoUineux, Thos. Gushing, Esq., and myself. Capt. Hall 
arrived from London ; in him came passengers, our assistant the Rev. 
Mr. Parker, Mr. Francis Rotch, and Mr. William Palfry, 

May 17. — This morning Generall Gage, our new Governour, landed 
from the Castle after having breakfasted with Admirall Montagu on 
board the Captain man of war ; he was saluted by the Castle and 
the Captain man of war, and received at the Long WharfF by Colo. 
Hancock's Company of Cadets. The Regiment was under arras 
in King Street. The Company of Grenadiers made a good appearance. 
Capt. Paddock's Company of artillery and Col. Phipps' Company of 
Guards wore also under [arm.s] in King street; he came to the Town 
House, had his commission read by the Secretary, and took the usual 

1895.] DIARY OF JOHN KOWE. 85 

oaths ; from thence he was escorted to Faneuil Hall, where a good 
dinner by his Majesty's Council. There were but very few gentlemen 
of the town asked to dine there. 

May 18. — I waited on Generall Gage this morning, who received 
me very cordially. The town met by adjournment this day. I was so 
busy I could not attend. 

May 24. — The merchants met at the Town House on business of 

May 29. — The Admirall has now stationed all his ships [stations 

May 30. — I paid the Generall a visit this morning. Town meeting, 
nothing done but harangue. 

May ^1. — ^ The Minerva, Capt. Calahan, is gone below to take in 
Gov"" Hutchinson, his son Elisha Hutchinson, and his daughter. Miss 
Peggy Hutchinson, who are going passengers, as is Miss Polly 

June 1. — This is the last day any vessell can enter this harbour until 
this fatall Act of Parliament is repealed. Poor unhappy Boston. God 
knows only thy wretched fate. I see nothing but misery will attend 
thy inhabitants. 

June 2. — I met the gentlemen merchants at the west side of the 
Court House in Boston. While we were in the meeting Capt. William- 
son arrived at Marblehead from Bristoll and brought with him another 
Act of Parliament for the better regulating the Province of the Massa- 
chusetts Bay, which Act strikes the very Charter granted to this Prov- 
ince by King William and Queen Mary, and is, or will be, productive 
with many evils to the advancement of this his Majesty's Province, and 
sour the minds of most of the inhabitants thereof. I am afraid of the 
consequences that this Act will produce. I wish for harmony and 
peace between Great Britain, our mother country, and the Colonies ; 
but the time is farr off. The people have done amiss, and no sober 
man can vindicate their conduct, but the revenge of the ministry is too 

June 3. — Spent the evening at Deacon Jones' with the following 
merchants: John Amory, Jonathan Amory, Saml. Barrat, Henderson 
Inches, John Timmins, Eben"" Storer, W" Whitwell, Edw. Payne, 
Henry Bromfield, and myself. We adjourned untill Monday evening. 

June 6. — Artillery election. Brigg'' Brattle did the honors of the 
day in the absence of his Excellency Governor Gage. 

June 7. — There was a grand ball at Salem last evening as an enter- 
tainment to Generall Gage, his officers, the Commissioners of the 
Customs, and many others. 

June 8. — The committee of merchants waited on Genl. Gage with 
their address, Treas. Gray, Thos. Gray, Jno. Evving, Geo. Erving, 


Richd. Letchmere, John Timmins, Jos. Winslow, Frank Green, 
James Forrest, James Anderson. 

June 10. — The transports with the 4"' Regiment are arrived from 
Southampton this morning. 

June 12, Sunday. — After church I walked round the wharffs ; tis 
impossible to describe the distressed situation of this poor town, not one 
topsail merchantman to be seen. 

June 14. — This is the last day any vessell can depart this harbour. 
Boston, thy fate is very distressing-. The fourth Regiment lauded this 
morning, and pitclied their tents in the Common by the pound, a number 
of spectators to see them. 

June 15. — The forty-third Regiment landed this morning, and pitched 
their tents in the Common near the workhouse on that plain. This 
evening the tradesmen of the town met to consult on the distress of 
this place. There were upwards of eight hundred at this meeting; 
they did nothing, being much divided in sentiment. 

Jane 16. — I went this morning to see my kinsman Jacob Rowe, 
who I found very ill and very dangerous. After dinner I spent an 
hour with John Adams and Josiah Quincy, jun"". [Jacob Rowe (not 
John's brotlier) died June 20, and was buried in John Rowe's tomb 
under Trinity Church the 22d.] 

June 17. — A generall town meeting this forenoon; they chose me 
moderator. I was much engaged, and therefore did not accept. The 
people at present seem very averse to accommodate matters. I think 
they will repent of their behaviour sooner or later. The Governor dis- 
solved the Assembly this day. The General Court chose a committee 
of five to go to the Generall Congress, James Bowdoin, John Adams, 
Sara. Adams, the Speaker, and Mr. Paine of Taunton. 

June 27. — Town meeting; the hall so full they adjourned to the 
Old South Meeting House. The debates were for and against the 
Committee of Correspondence, very warm on both sides ; it lasted 
all day, and adjourned until to-morrow 10 of clock. The speakers 
in behalf of the committee were Saml. Adams, Josiah Quincy, jun". 
Dr. AVarren, Dr. Young, W™ Mollineux, Benj. Kent. The speakers 
against the behaviour of the committee were Treas' Gray, Thos. Gray, 
Saml. p:iliot, Saml. Barrat, John Amory, Edw. Paine, Francis Greene, 
Ezek. Goldthwait. 

Jane 28. — The town met again at the Old South Meeting. The 
debates very warm on both sides. I think [the committee] are wrong 
in the matter. The merchants have taken up against them; they have 
in my opinion exceeded their power ; and the motion was put that 
they should be dismissed. The gentlemen that made and supported 
this motion could not obtain their vote ; the majority were four to one 
against them. This affair will cause much evill, one against the other. 
I wish for peace in this town, I fear the consequences. 

1805.] DIARY OF JOHN ROWE. 87 

July \. — [The Preston man of war, transports and soldiers, with 
Admiral Graves and Lord Percy arrive.] 

July 4. — The 38 Regiment landed this day, and pitched their tents 
in the Common. I paid Admirall Montagu a visit this morning. 

July 5. — The o*** Regiment landed this day, and pitched their tents 
in the Common. Admirall Montagu's Lady, and Miss Sophie Montagu 
paid us a visit this morning, and took leave of us, being just on their 
departure for England. 

July 7. — The Captain man of war, with the Admirall on board, 
saluted Admirall Graves ; but the wind dyed away ; they did not sail. 
The Generall visited the troops in the Common this forenoon. 

July 8. — I heard of the bad behaviour of the people at Marlborough ; 
its said the Speakmans were concerned ; if it proves so, they have not 
only behaved ill, but contrary to my sentiments, and forfeited my 
regard in future for them. 

July 12. — Capt. Dove arrived from So. Carolina at Salem, with 
rice as a present from sundry gentlemen there for this place. 

July 14. — This day a fast is recommended by some of the ministers 
on account of the miserable situation of this town. I cannot reconcile 
this measure, and should much rather the people would do justice, and 
recommend the payment for the tea instead of losing a day by fasting. 

July 18. — Heard of my old friend Capt. Thos. Gerry of Marblehead 
being dead. 

July 20. — This day is the annuall Commencement Day, but the dis- 
tressed situation of the Town and Province prevents it being kept 
publick as usuall. I paid a visit to Generall Gage this morning, who 
received [me] very friendly. 

July 25. — After dinner my brother Jacob set out for Quebeck. [He 
had arrived in Boston March 31.] 

July 27. — A quarrell happened last night between some of the town's 
people and some officers of the Army. Town meeting yesterday. I did 
not attend. 

Aug. 7. — The Scarborough man of war arrived yesterday from 
England ; she left Plymouth the last port. A letter from Sucky 
by Mr. Hutt, who is lieutenant of the Scarborough. ... I wrote the 
Generall [Gen. Gage, then at Salem] a few lines by Mr. Humphreys. 

Aicg. 7, 9, 10, 17. — [Arrival of vessels with troops, and appointments 
to civil offices under the late Act of Parliament.] 

Aug. 12. — I waited on Generall Gage, Lord Percy, and Genl. 
Piggot with Major Clark. 

Aug. 21. — A vessell arrived from Falmouth at Marblehead brings 
advice of Gov'' Hutchinsons arrivall in England, having a short passage 
from hence in Capt. Callahan. 

Aug. 22. — A report that Daniel Leonard, Esq., one of the Coun- 


sellers at Taunton, was obliged to leave the town of Taunton. [Names 
of persons sworn in as members of the Council.] 

Sept. 1. — This morning a letter was picked up wrote by Gen' 
Brattle to Gen' Gage, and the Gaul, in consequence sent a party 
of two hundred men under the command of Colo. Mattison, and took 
the gun powder belonging to ihe Province from the arsenall on 
Quarry Hill, and brought it from thence in the transport boats to 
the Cassell. This letter has exasperated the country people against 
Brattle, so that he now takes refuge in Boston. 

Sept. 2. — A great number of people from the country are collected 
at Waltham, Watertown, and Cambridge, occasioned as tis reported 
from the behaviour of Gen' Brattle. The people seem to be fright- 
ened and alraid of its consequence. Tlie Generall has reinforced the 
entrance at the Neck. Commissioner Hallovvell has been insulted in 
his way through Cambridge ; he fled for shelter to this town. This 
evening appeared a flimsy recantation from Gen' Brattle. 

Sept. 3. — The people of Cambridge mostly dispersed, and gone home. 
The Generall sent four field pieces to Boston Neck. 

Sept. 4, Sunday. — Mr. Parker read prayers and preached. Sev- 
erall gentlemen of distinction were at our church, Peter Oliver, Esq., 
Chief Justice, Judge Brown of Salem, Jona. Sewall, Esq., Attorney 
Generall, W" Pepperell, Esq., and a great many others, too many 
to particularize. 

Sept. 7. — The Generall has doubled the guai'ds at the Neck, and I 
believe designs to fortify it. 

Sept. 9. — This morning a soldier of the 65"' regiment, which had 
three times deserted, was shot on the Common. 

Sept. 10. — The SQ"' regiment came from Salem and encamped on 
the west side of Boston Neck. 

Sept. 14, Wednesday. — Church convention. I went to Chapell. 
Dr. Caner read prayers, and Mr. Sergeant of Cambridge preached a 
sensible, short sermon on the occasion. The Generall and his aid de 
camps, the Admirall and lady, and the Capt. of the Preston, with the 
navy officer of the day, the Commissioners, many of the Council), the 
High Sheriff, and many other gentlemen and ladies attended. This 
night some of the officers of the navy came and spiked up the guns of 
the North Battery, a ridiculous manoeuvre. 

Sept. 22. — This day is the anniversary of his Majesty's accession to 
the throne. I went to the Councill Chamber witli the Governour, 
Admirall, and many other gentlemen to drink the King's health and 
many other loyal toasts. 

Oct. 11. — A number of deputys met at Concord this day. Capt. 
Callahan arrived from London at Salem, severall passengers, among 
the rest Geo. Inman. 

1895.] DIARY OF JOHN KOWE. 89 

Oct. 13. — [Troops arrive.] 

Oct. 18, — This day an audacious villain attacked Colo. Cleveland 
and Capt. Montresor, snapped pistols at both of them, and wounded 
Colo. Cleveland with his own hanger. 

Oct. 19. — The fellow that attacked Colo. Cleveland and Capt. 
Montresor was brought from Cambridge and committed to our gaol. 
His name is Dyer. 

Oct. 22. — Mr. Mollineux died suddenly this morning. 

Oct. 23, Sunday. — There was a vestry after church about altering 
the time of morning service and admitting the 59 regiment to come to 
church, as also the 5"^ regiment. Present .John Erviug, Dan Hub- 
bard, James Boutineau, W" Cotfin, Rufus Green, John Cutler, Henry 
Laughton, James Perkins, and myself. [The two regiments attended 
the church December 4.] 

Oct. 24. — This afternoon Will'" Mollineux was buried ; he has been 
famous among the Sons of Liberty ; many things are attributed to him, 
and tis believed he was first leader of dirty matters. A great con- 
course of people attended his funerall ; his bearers were old Mr. Erving, 
Mr. James Bowdoin, Mr. Pitts, Mr. Thos. Boylston, Capt. John Brad- 
ford, and Mr. W" Dennie. 

Nov. 9. — Our delegates returned to town from Philadelphia. 

Nov. 13, Sunday. — Genl. Gage attended at our church this morning. 

Dec. 5. — The committee attended me about Brown's cargoe ; after 
some conversation we settled the affair. 

Dec. 17. — The Asia and Boyne men of wars came this morning up 
against the town, and anchored between Long Wharff and Hancocks. I 
attended the funerall of Mr. Maturin, the Generalls secretary. 

1775. Jan. 18. — This being the Queens birthday, it was celebrated 
by drinking their majestys health at the Town House. The picquet 
guards from all the regiments fired three vollies. The Castle and Bat- 
tery and all the fleet fired a royal salute. 

Jan. 20. — I paid a visit to the Gen\ who received me very kindly. 

Jan. 21. — An affray happened between the officers and the Town 
House watch last evening, which makes great uneasiness in town. 

Jan. 24. — A detachment from each regiment went on board Capt. 
Thos. Graves, and are bound to Marshfield under the command of 
Capt. Ball four of the 4th Regiment, in order to keep the people there 
quiet and peaceable. This morning also was a Court of Inquiry about 
the matter of the aff'ray between the officers and the watchmen. The 
Court adjourned untill to-morrow morning. 

Jan. 31. — This day the King's speech is come to town from Marble- 
head, in a vessell of Mr. Ornes from Falmouth ; he takes notice of the 
behaviour of the Colonies, and particularly this Province ; his remarks 
are very just. 



Feb. 27. — I paid Admirall Graves a visit this forenoon. Colo. 
Lessly has been to Salem on an expedition and returned Hgain. 

March 6. — This day D'' Warren delivered an oration in D"" Sew- 
all's Meeting. I did not hear him. 

March 9. — This morning a country fellow who had bought a gun 
from one of the soldiers was published by them in the modern taste of 
tarring and feathering, and carried in a cart through the main streets of 
the town. 

March 15. — This day an oration was delivered by a dirty scoundrell 
from Mrs. Cordis' balcony, wherein many characters were unfairly rep- 
resented and much abused, and mine among the rest. 

March 16. — This day is kept by many people as a Publick Fast, 
which gives great umbrage to a great many people which do not pay 
any regard to it, and I think they are not right, because they say the 
order does not originate under the direction of goud government; yet 
it can [do] no harm. 

March 25. — Afternoon the Generall sent for me to see a letter I 
received from Thos. Griffith. 

April 16, Sunday. — 1 dined at home with Mrs. Rowe, Geo. In- 
man, and Jack Rowe. After dinner I went down Clarks Wharff to 
meet Capt. Linzee and Sucky, who arrived from Spithead and Fal- 
mouth in the Falcon sloop. I brought them home and their little son 
Sam' Hood Linzee. 

April 17. — [The Inmans and Linzees guests at dinner.] Our house 
full of visitors all day. Gen. Robinson and Major Moncrieff came to 
town from New York. 

April 18, Tuesday. — I dined at home with Capt. Linzee, Mrs. 
Linzee, Mrs. Rowe, and George Inman, and spent the evening at home 
with them and Jack Rowe. [Capt. Linzee and Mrs. Linzee are 
recorded as dining every day at Rowe's, from their arrival until they 
left Boston May 1, except that on April 19th only her name appears.] 

April 19. — Last night the Grenadiers and Light Companies belong- 
ing to the several regiments in this town were ferry'd over Charles 
River, and landed on Phipps farm in Cambridge, from whence they 
proceeded on their way to Concord, where they arrived early this day. 
On their march they had a skirmish with some country people at 

The First Brigade, commanded by Lord Percy, with two pieces of 
artillery, set off from this town this morning about 10 of clock, as a 
reinforcement, which with the Grenadiers and Light Infantry made 
about eighteen hundred men. The people in the country had notice of 
this movement ; early in the night alarm guns were fired thro' the coun- 
try and expresses sent off to the different towns, so that very early this 
morning large numbers from all parts of the country were assembled. 

1895.1 DIARY OF JOHN HOWE. 91 

A generall battle ensued, which from what I can learn was supported 
with great spirit on both sides, and continued untill the King's troops 
got back to Charlestown, which was near sunset. Numbers are killed 
and wounded on both sides. Capt. Linzee and Capt. Collins in two 
small armed vessells were ordered up Charles River to bring off the 
troops to Boston, but Lord Percy and Generall Smith thought proper 
to encamp on Bunker's Hill this night ; this unhappy affair is a shock- 
ing introduction to all the miseries of a Civil War. 1 dined at home 
with the Rev*^ Mr. Parker, Mrs. Linzee, Mrs. Rowe, and George In- 
man, and spent the evening at home with Mr. Inman, Mrs. Linzee, 
Mrs. Rowe, George Inman, and Jack. 

April 20. — The Generall sent some more troops to Charlestown last 
night and this morning, so that Lord Percy and the troops under his 
command returned to town. This night some people, about two hundred, 
attacked Capt. Linzee in the armed schooner a little below Cambridge 
bridge, and he gave them a warm reception, so that [they] thought 
proper to retreat with the loss of some men. I dined at home with 
Capt. Collins of the Nautilus, Capt. Linzee, the Rev'' Mr. Parker, 
Mr. Inman, Mrs. Rowe, Geo. Inman, and 'spent the evening at home 
with Mr. Inman, Capt. Linzee, Mrs. Linzee, Rich*? Green, Mrs. Rowe, 
Geo. Inman, and Jack. 

Tis said many thousands of country people are at Roxbury and 
in the neighbourhood. The people in town are alarmed, and the en- 
trenchments on Boston Neck double-guarded. Mrs. Linzee dined at 
the Admirall's. 

April 2L — The reinforcement that was sent to Charlestown by the 
Gen' are returned too, and the 64th Regim' that was at the Castle are 
now in Boston Town House. All business at an end, and the commu- 
nication stop'd between the town and country. No fresh provision of 
any kind brought to this market, so that Boston is in a most distressed 
condition. I dined at home with Capt. Linzee, Mrs. Rowe, Mrs. 
Linzee, Mr. Inman, and Geo. Inman. 

This afternoon severall gentlemen met with the Selectmen to consult 
on our situation, and chose a committee to draft a memoriall to 
Gen' Gage, viz. : the Selectmen, James Bowdoin, Henderson Inches, 
Alex. Hill, Edward Payne, and Jos. Barrell ; they adjourned until to- 
morrow ten of clock. I spent the evening at home with Mr. Inman, 
Mrs. Linzee, Mrs. Rowe, and Geo. Inman. 

April 22. — The same company met and reported, upon which the 
inhabitants were called together ; after much debate and some amend- 
mpnts they passed two votes, which were presented to the Generall by 
the same committee, and on delivery they asked the Generall to grant 
their prayer ; he in some measure complyed, but made some other 


I dined at home with Capt. Linzee, Mrs. Linzee, Mr. Inman, Geo. 
Inman, and Jack Rowe, also Mrs. Rowe, and spent the evening at home 
with the same company. Mr. Nicholls sent Jack home last night, and 
broke up his school. 

April 23. — The inhabitants met again this morning, and after some 
debate they came into the Geuerall's measures, which was to deliver up 
their arms to be deposited in the hands of the Selectmen ; and such of 
the inhabitants as had a mind to leave the town might go with their 
effects. This evening news was brought that Capt. Brown was stop'd 
at Charlestown in his way by the country people. 

April 24. — I rose very early, and got away Mr. Nun, John Inman, 
Mr. Sparks, Thos. Knights, Jos. Taylor, and John Head on board 
Mr. Sheriff's sloop for Salem. Between one and two Capt, Brown got 
to town. I soon despatched him. This day the inhabitants carried in 
their arms; the number 2674. 

April 26. — John Inman is come to town, and tells me that my brigg 
Sucky sailed from Marblehead yesterday towards night ; in her went 
the following passengers [names given]. The Admirall's lady paid 
Mrs. Linzee a visit this morning. Mr. Sheriff sent upwards of 40 sheep 
into our pasture this day. 

April 27. — The General has given leave for all people to leave the 
town that chooses with their effects. 

April 28. — This day I apply'd to get a pass to go out with my 
effects, but could not prevail. 

May 1. — Capt. Linzee and Sucky and little Sam Hood "sailed this 
morning in the Falcon sloop. 

May 2. — The post is in ; bad news from New York. Dr. W™ 
Samuel Johnson and Col. Wallcot are come to town on special business 
with the Generall from the Colony of Connecticut. 

May 3. — Mr. Inman went to the lines to see Mrs. Inman ; he had 
some conversation with her. 

May b. — The inhabitants flocking out of town. Some transports 
arrived from Ilallifax with four companies of the 65"^ Regiment. 

May 10. — William Vassall and all his family, together witli Tim" 
Fitch and family, Thos. Brattle, and many others went off this 

May 13. — I paid a visit to Genl. Robertson, where I found Colo. 
Abercrorabie, Major Goldthwait, and Docf Mullet. 

May 17. — [Fire broke out in the barracks of the 65"^ regiment on 
Treat's wharf, destroying 33 stores on Dock Square.] 

May 21. — A party was sent under the command of Mr. Innis of the 
43** to Grape Island to bring off some cattle and hay ; the country peo- 
ple being very numerous kept a brisk fire on them, so that they 
were obliged to return without effecting their design. One marine 



wounded. Two transports from Deptford, with recruits, and one with 
marines from Plymouth, arrived this day. 

May 24. — [Arrival of troops.] 

May 25. — The Cerberus man of warr, Capt. Chad, arrived from 
Spithead ; in this ship the Geueralls Burgoyne, How, and Clynton 
came passengers. 

3fay 28. — A continual firing all night on Norten's [Noddle's] Island 
between the Provincialls and marines and sailors. Severall marines and 
sailors killed and wounded, and tis supposed the Provincials lost many. 

May 29. — Twenty sheep and lambs have been killed this night in 
my pasture. 

May 30. — Last night the country people burnt one house and sev- 
eral barns on Norten's [Noddle's] Island, and the dwelling house and 
store this forenoon. Our two girls Peggy and Becky went away this 

[Vol. XII. of the Diary, pp. 2007-2077, is missing, and inside the 
cover of Vol. XIII. is written "from June to December is mislaid or 
taken away out of my store."] 

Dec. 25, Christmas Day. — Mr. Walter read prayers, and Mr. 
Parker preached a very good sermon from the 2*^ chap. St. Luke's 
Gospell & 14"^ verse. The money gathered for the use of the poor 
of this church amounted to sixty dollars. 

Dec. 27. — I dined at home with Capt. Linzee, Mrs. Linzee, little 
Saml. Hood Linzee, who is two years old this day. 

Dec. 30. — [Arrival of ships with troops.] The Scarborough, Capt. 
Barclay, and severall transports sailed to-day on a secret expedition. 

Dec. 31. — Thus endeth the year 1775, a most fatal year for this 
part of America. The Niger man of war, Capt. Talbot, is arrived 
in Nantasket Road, and has brought the King's speech, dated the 
26 October. 

1776. Jan. 7, Sunday. — Capt. Linzee behaved very cruelly to me; 
I shall not forget it.^ [Rowe and Linzee were, however, much together 
at Rowe's and Inman's till Capt. Linzee sailed.] 

Jan. 12. — I paid Admiral Shouldham a visit this morning, who is a 
genteel man, and received me politely. 

Jan. 14. — I staid at home and dined at home with Capt. Linzee, 
Mrs. Linzee, Mr. Inman, Mrs. Inman, Geo. Inman, Mrs. Rowe, and Jack 

Jan. 18. — Mrs. Linzee and George paid us a visit, and took their 
leave, perhaps forever. [War shi[) arrived.] 

Jan. 20. — This day the Falcon, Capt. Linzee, sailed. He took 
with him Mrs. Linzee, little Sam, and Hannah. I sincerely wish their 
prosperity and happiness. With the Falcon sailed the Mercury ; in her 

^ Pages of the Diary covering Jan. 8, 9, 15, and 16, torn out. 


General Clynton is passenger, and Mr. Reeves, the General's Secre- 
tary. Severall transports went with them, with the Light Infantry of 
the 4"^ and 44"^ Regiments ; they are gone on some expedition to the 

Jan. 21. — Some good person put in Mr. Parker's hands a quantity 
of provisions, wood, and coals, to be distributed for the poor of Trinity 

Jan. 24. — Its generally believed that Genl. Carlton has given 
Montgomery and Arnold a very severe drubbing at Quebec. 

Jan. 25. — Two vessels are said to be taken this day in our bay, 
and carried into Plymouth. 

Feb. 1. — [Sir W" Pepperell and family sailed.] 

Feb. 2. — [Schooner privateer Capt. Manly fitted out at Plymouth 

Feb. 4. — Capt. George Montagu of the Tewey man of war sent in 
a sloop from Damariscotta laden with wood for Marblehead ; very 

Feb. 5. — The troops at Charlestown got four cattell this morning, 
which were sent out as tis supposed for a decoy ; they lost one man, 
and had another very much wounded. Sir Ht;nry Callder commanded. 

Feb. 8. — [Dined at Capt. Haskins's with other guests on "a fine 
hard Q"" of veal."] 

Feb. 9. — Tis reported that Capt. Banks has hoisted his broad pen- 
dant on board the Renown man of war. 

Feb. 11. — Some plan for an expedition was projected last night; tis 
supposed an alteration of the weather put a stop to it. 

Feh.\\:. — This morning a party of the King's troops burnt the 
houses on Dorchester Neck, and brought off seven prisoners. 

Feb. 24. — Last evening the Wonder of "Wonders was acted, and 
generally approved of. I waited on Gen. Howe this morning about 
Spooner and Church's affairs. 

March 1. — Blows fresh. My brigg Sucky went down in order to 
proceed to Oporto. 

March 3. — This night the people from the Battery at Phipps farm 
threw many shells into town, which put the inhabitants into great 
fear ; and they have done damage to many houses, ])articularly Sher- 
burn Fitch's, George Erving's, and Courtney's the tailor. 

March 4, Monday. — I dined at home with Rev** Mr. Walter and 
Mrs. Rowe. All the preceding night the town has been fired at by the 
people without from every quarter. I don't hear of much damage being 
done. The guns from Cobble Ilill on Charlestown side have thrown 
these shot the farthest into town ; one of them struck Wheatley's in 
King's Street. I spent the evening at home with Rich. Green and 
JMrs. Rowe and Jack Rowe. 

1895.] DIARY OF JOHN ROWE. 95 

March 5. — This morning we perceived a battery erected on the 
hill on Dorchester Neck. This has alarmed us very much. About 12 
the Geuerall sent off six regiments; perhaps this day or tomorrow de- 
termines the fate of this truly distressed place. All night both sides 
kept a continuall fire. Six men of the 22"^ are wounded in a house at 
the South End ; one boy lost his leg. A very severe storm ; it blew 
down my rail fences, both sides the front of the house. 

Mar. 6. — This morning the country people have thrown a strong 
work on another place on the Neck at Dorchester Neck. Gen'l Howe 
has ordered the troops ashore again, and tis now out of doubt that Gen. 
Howe will leave this town with his troops, &c., which has put the in- 
habitants of this town into great disorder, confusion, and much dis- 
tress. The firing has ceased this day. 

Mar. 7. — The troops and inhabitants very busy in getting all the 
goods and effects on board the shipping in the harbour ; tis impossible 
to describe the distresses of this unfortunate town. I dined and spent 
the evening at home with my dear Mrs. Rowe, Mr. Inman, and Jack 
Rowe. Gen' Robinson paid me a visit. 

3Iar. 8. — My situation has almost distracted me. John Inman, 
Archy McNeil, and Duncan are determined to leave me. God send me 
comfort in my old age. I try to do what business I can, but am dis- 
appointed, and nothing but cruelty and ingratitude falls to my lot. I 
spent the day with my dear Mrs. Rowe, Richard Green, and John 

March 9. — I dined at home with the Rev*^ Mr. Parker, Mrs. Rowe, 
and Jack, and spent the evening at the Possee. This day Gen* Rob- 
inson pressed the ship Minerva into the service; nothing but hurry 
and confusion, every person striving to get out of this place. A great 
deal of firing on both sides this night. 

March 10, Sunday. — Capt. Dawson is returned with two vessells ; he 
has had a severe brush with four privateers. A proclamation came out 
from Gen' How this day, a very severe one on some people. John 
Inman went on board this day with his wife ; he has in his possession 
three watches of mine — sundry pieces of checks which was to be 
made into shirts. Jos. Goldthwait [and] Mrs. Winslow went on board 
this day ; he has carried off Capt. Linzee's horse without paying for 

March 11. — This morning I rose very early and very luckily went 
to my warehouse ; when I came there I found Mr. Crean Brush with 
an order and party from the Gen'l, who were just going to break open 
the warehouse, which I prevented by sending for the keys, and opening 
the doors. They took from me to the value of twenty two hundred 
and sixty pounds sterling, according to the best calculation I could make, 
in linneus, checks, cloths, and woollens. This p^rty behaved very inso- 


lently and with great rapacity, and I ana very well convinced exceeding 
their orders to a great degree. They stole many things and plundered 
my store. Words cannot describe it. This party consisted of Mr. 
Blasswitch, who was one of the Canceaux people, Mr. Brush, the pro- 
vost, Mr. Cunningham, a refugee, Mr. Welch the provost deputy, a 
man named Hill, and about fifteen soUiers, with others. I remained all 
day in the store, but could not hinder their destruction of my goods. 
This day I got a piece of bread and one draft of flip. I spent the even- 
ing at home with Mr. Parker, Rich'f Green, Mr. Warner of Ports- 
mouth, who assisted me very much, with Mrs. Rowe and Jack Rowe. 
They are making the utmost speed to get away, and carrying ammu- 
nition, cannon, and everything they can [carry] away, taking all things 
they meet with, never asking who is owner or whose property, making 
havoc in every house and destruction of all kinds of furniture. There 
never was such destruction and outrage committed any day before this. 
Many other people have suffered the same fate as me, particularly Mr. 
Sam' Austin, Mr. John Scolly, Cap' Partridge, Capt. Dashwood, Mr. 
Cyrus Baldwin, the Widow Newman. 

Mar. 12. — A continual fire from both sides this night. They are 
hurrying off all their provisions and destroying and mangling all navi- 
gation ; also large quantitys of salt and otlier things they heave into the 
sea and scuttle the stores. The inhabitants are greatly terrified and 
alarmed for fear of greater evils when the troops leave this distressed 
place. I got Crean Brush receipt for the goods taken from me, but 
don't expect much good from it, the severall gentlemen say they will be 
my friend in this affair. 

March 13. — I have staid at home most part of this day. The con- 
fusion still continues, and plundering of houses, &c., increasing. Gen' 
Robinson paid me a visit and eat a morsell of provisions, together with 
Rich** Green, Mrs. Rowe, and Jack Rowe. The sailors from the ships 
have broke open my stores on my wharff and plundered them; this 
was done at noon this day. This morning a house was burnt at the 
North End, whether set on fire on purpose or from accident seems 
uncertain. A considerable number of cannon fired in the night from 
both sides. The country people throwing up more entrenchments, &c., 
on Dorchester Neck. 

March 14. — This night much damage has been done to many houses 
and stores in this town, and many valuable articles stolen and destroyed. 
Stole out of W"" Perry's store a quantity of tea, rum, and sugar, to the 
value of £120 sterling. Mr. Sam- Quincy's house broke and great 
destruction, the Rev*^ Mr. Walter's, also the Rev** Dr. Caiier's and many 

Mar. 15. — This night my store on the Long Wharff broke open 
and almost a hhd. of su<rar and a hoirshead of ware stole. Twas ex- 

Ib95.] DIARY OF JOHN liOWE. 97 

pected the troops would have embarked this night, but they still remain 
in town; I dined at home with Gen' Robertson, Colo. Clark, Rich'^ 
Green, an officer of the 5'" reg\ Mrs. Rowe, and Jack Rowe ; after din- 
ner. Cap' Haskins gave me notice that several officers were in Mrs. 
Hooper's house, committing violence and breaking everything left ; they 
broke a looking glass over the chimney which cost twenty guineas 
— such barbarous treatment is too much for the most patient man to 
bear. I spent the evening at home with Rich. Green, Mrs. Rowe, and 
Jack Rowe. 

Mar. 16. — The troops are getting everything in order to depart. 
My store on Long Wharff broke open again this night ; the behaviour of 
the soldiers is too bad, tis almost impossible to believe it. Two officers 
of the b^^ came to me for wine ; they wanted to be trusted ; I refused 
them ; since I have heard nothing, only they damned me and swore they 
would take it by force ; one of them named Russell of the 5'^ Regiment, 
the other I don't know. 

Mar. 17, Sunday. — St. Patrick's day. The Provincials are throw- 
ing up a battery on Nook Hill on Dorchester Neck, which has occa- 
sioned much firing this night. This morning the troops evacuated the 
town, and went on board the transports at and about Loug Whartf ; 
they sailed and got most part of them into King Road. About noon 
Gen' Putnam and some troops came into town to the great joy of the 
inhabitants that remained behind. I dined at home with Mr. Inman, 
Mrs. Inman, Mr. Warner, Mrs. Rowe, and Jack Rowe. 

March IS. — Major Chester and Capt. Huntington lodged at our 
house. The town very quiet this night. Severall of my friends came 
to see me from the country. 

3Iar. 19. — Numbers of people belonging to Boston are daily com- 
ing in. Gen'l Washington and his retinue were in town yesterday. I 
did not hear of it; otherways should have paid my respects and waited 
on him. This afternoon the King's troops burnt the Block house at the 
Cassell and the Continental troops are throwing up a battery on Fort 
Hill ; most all the ships are gone from King Road into Nantasket Road. 

Mar. 20. — They burnt the barracks and houses at the Cassell this 
afternoon and destroyed everything they could on the island and blew 
up the fortifications all around it. 

Mar. 22. — I dined at home with Generall Putnam, Generall 
Greene, Mr. Inman, Mrs. Inman, Mrs. Forbes, Mrs. Rowe, and Jack. 
After dinner Colo. Gridly, Mr. Chase, both Mr. Webbs, and severall 
other officers came to the house. 

March 23. — I dined at Mr. Inman's with him, Mrs. Inman, Genl. 
Green, Mrs. Green, Tnthill Hubbard, Mrs. Forbes, Mr. Lowell (?) 
Mrs. Rowe, and Capt. Gilbert Speakman. Some fire below Nantasket 
Road ; I take it to be a transport set on fire to destroy her. 



Mar. 24, Sunday afternoon. — I went to church. Mr. Parker read 
prayers and preached from the 22'' chap, by St. Matthew & 37 and 38 
verses. This was a very good sermon, and considering the distressing 
time a good many people at church. A transport was burnt last night 
in the Lighthouse channel. 

Mar. 25. — The fleet still in Na,ntasket Road. A great many of 
the ships in Nantasket sailed this afternoon. 

Mar. 26. — I waited on Gen' Greene this morning, with Mr. Baker, 
about some iron on my wharff. After dinner I went with Mr. Parker 
and paid my respects to Generall Washington, who received us very 

Mar. 27. — This afternoon all the fleet sailed from Nantasket Road 
but three which is supposed to be men of warr. 

3Iar. 28. — This day the General Court made a handsome enter- 
tainment at Capt. Marston's, that now lives in Colo. Ingersoll's house, 
for Gen' Washington and the other generalls of the United Colonies, 
and the Rev'* Dr. Ellliot preached at Dr. Chauucy's Meeting a sermon 
on the occasion, giving a history of what has hapned in town during 
the siege. I dined with twenty four gentlemen at Waterman's tavern 
in Roxbury, all Free Masons, by invitation. 

March 29. — A town meeting this day at Dr. Chauncy's IMeeting- 
house. The old ofiicers of the town were chose. I dined at home 
with Rich. Green, Mrs. Rowe, and Jack, and spent the evening at 
home with Rich*^ Green, Mr. Parker, Mr. Warner, Mrs. Rowe, and 
Jack Rowe. 

March ^0. — I lent Mr. Parker my mare to go to Cambridge this 

March 31, Sunday. — I gave Gen' Washington an invitation to dine, 
who returned me a very polite answer. Mr. Parker preached at 
Trinity in the morning, at Chaple this afternoon. Severall regiments 
under orders to march to the southward from Prospect and Winter 

Apr. 4. — -A town meeting this day at Dr. Chauncy's Meeting 
House, — Mr. Kent, moderator. Mr. Parker slept in his house this 
night. He gives me £26.13.4 per annum. 

Apr. 5, Good Friday. — Gen' Washington and Lady and family set 
out yesterday ; also Gen' Gates to the southward. News of Jolly Allen 
being ashore at Cape Cod, and twenty six other passengers. 

/Ipr. 6. — Capt. Manly is come to town, and brings the account of his 
taking Crean Brush, Wm. Jackson, and seventy other passengers in 
a brijrg bound with the fleet. This vessel), tis said, has twenty five 
thousand pound sterling on board in English goods and other merchan- 
dise ; among the prisoners is a serjeant and 12 men of the King's 

1895.] DIAEY OF JOHN ROWE. 99 

Apr. 7, Sunday. — Mrs. Hooper came to town. She is in a most 
pitifull, distressed situation. The proprietors of Trinity Church met 
after church ; present, twelve persons. 

Apr. 8. — I attended the church meeting this morning, and was 
chose warden with Dan' Hubbard. Afternoon I went by invitation of 
Brother Webb to attend the fuuerall of the remains of Dr. Warren, and 
went accordingly to the Councill Chamber with a design to attend and 
walk in procession with the lodges under my jurisdiction, with our 
proper Jewells and cloathing, but to my great mortification was very 
much insulted by some furious, hot persons — without the least provo- 
cation ; one of brethren thought it most prudent for me to retii'e. I 
accordingly did so ; this has caused some uneasy reflections in my mind, 
as I am not conscious to myself of doing anything prejudicial to the 
cause of America either by will, word, or deed. The corps of Dr. 
Warren was carried into Chapell. Dr. Cooper prayed and Mr. Perez 
Morton delivered an oration on the occasion. Dr. Warren's bearers 
were Genl. Ward, Genl. Fry, Col. Gridly, D' Morgan, Mr. Moses 
Gill, and Mr. John Scolly. There was a handsome procession of the 
craft, with two companys of soldiers. There is a confirmation of Crean 
Brush and Wm. Jackson being taken, and also my negro fellow Adam. 

Apr. 10. — I attended the proprietors of Trinity Church this morn- 
ing on Mr. Parker's affairs. I see Mr. Jos. Wentworth, and had some 
conversation with him about Capt. Manley's capture. My worthy 
friend Benj. Green was taken out of this troublesome world this 

April 11. — This day Crean Brush and W'" Jackson were sent to 
Watertown under guard. 

Apr. 12. — This morning came an account of Brymers brigg being 
taken in the bay by some whale boats under the command of Capt. 
Thatcher and carried into Hingham. Tis said the vessell taken by 
Thatcher is very valuable, and belongs to Bristol. Crean Brush and 
Wm. Jackson are brought to Boston. 

April 13. — Martin Brimmer and Mr. Dalton of Newberry Port paid 
us a visit. 

April 14, Sunday. — I staid at home all day, our church shut up. 
Mr. Parker gone to Newberry Port, and Mr. Bass expected to town, 
who disappointed him, I dined at home with Mr. Tristram Dalton, Mr. 
Warner, Mrs. Rowe, and Jack Rowe, and spent the evening at home 
with Mr. Inman, Mrs. Inman, Mrs. Rowe, Rich'' Green, Capt. 
Haskins, Mr. Warner, and Jack Rowe. 

April 17. — Severall people taken up this day, and carried to gaol. 
Dr. Whitworth, his son, W™ Perry, one Edwards, apd others. 

April 1 8. — This morning the persons that were taken up were car- 
ried over to Dorchester and there examined by a court appointed by 


the GeDerall Court for that purpose ; they examined W" Perry and 
Edwards, and ordered them to gaol ; the rest they kept all night 

April 19. — Dr. Whitworth examined this day and admitted to bail. 

Mai/ 1. — My dear little fellow and kinsman Jack Rowe taken very 

May 3. — Dr. Whitworth and son committed to close gaol. 

May 4. — Jack very ill. Dr. Lloyd is afraid of him. The Justices 
adjourned until Wednesday week. 

May 7. — Jack growing better, and I hope out of danger. Several! 
parties have been for severall days on Noddle's Island, throwing up 
breastworks, &c., for a fort. 

May 8. — This morning Mr. Hammond's plough began to plough up 
the pasture. Two briggs, one from Cork, the other from the West- 
ern Islands, taken by Capt. Tucker in Manley's schooner, and carried 
into Lynn. 

May 15. — [Justices met.] 

May 17. — This is a Fast Day, appointed by the Continental! Congress 
throughout the Colonies. [Large British ship loaded with gunpowder 
and arms brought in, being taken by Capt. Mugford in a schooner from 

May 21. — Bad news from Quebec. [Capt. Mugford attacked in 
Nantasket Road by boats from a man of warr, and killed.] 

May 22. — The army from Quebec is retired from before it; the 
account imperfect. 

May 23, 24, 27, 28. — [Town meetings, those on 23 and 24"' to 
choose representatives.] 

June 2 & 4. — [Dr. Church came to town and was confined.] 

June 8, 9. — [Captures by privateers of provisions, and 95 soldiers, 
mostly Highlanders.] 

June 11. — A flag of truce went from town on board the Renown, 
Mr. White of Marblehead and Mr. Martin Brimmer. Comm. Banks 
treated them very politely. 

June 12. — A hand bill is sent about containing interesting [news] 
from the Continental! Army in Canada. 

June 14. — An expedition went forward against the ships in Nan- 
tasket Road, Three separate bodies, one on Long Island, one on 
Pedricks [Petticks] Island, and another on Nantasket; they have 
driven the ships from Nantasket Road. Comm. Banks, its said, burnt 
the house on Georges Island and the house on the Light House 

June 15. — I h^ve been very busy all this morning in finding out some 
persons that have wickedly and maliciously spread a false report about 
me, and have had them before Justice Hill, and have got the first of 

1895.] DIARY OF JOHN ROWE. 101 

them to acknowledge it to be a lye, and she hath signed a declaration 
which I hope will satisfy and clear my innocence. 

June 17, 18. — [British ships with Highlanders taken by privateers.] 

June 22. — The Contiuentall affairs appear in Canada very un- 

June ''lZ-11, 29. — [Fleets of British ships in the bay, about four 
leagues from the Light House.] 

June 25. — The Highland officers and soldiers are sent out of town 
to Mendon, Reading, and Lunenburg. 

Julij 7. — [Captures by privateers, one of a vessel laden with 419 
hogsheads of rum.] 

July \\. — Young Shaw brought ten Indians from the Mirimiche 
and St. John's tribe ; they are come to negotiate some business with the 
■ General Court, and are the headmen of their tribes. A report in town 
that Lord Howe has been spoke with ; tis said his designs are to 
settle the present unhappy disputes that subsist between G. Britain 
and the United Colonies. 

July 13, Saturday. — I attended the gentlemen sufferers by Crean 
Brush. Capt. Benj. Phillips was taken up this day. Tis said by Mr. 
Murapford, the post, that Independence was declared the 4"^ instant at 
Philadelphia. A generall inoculation in this town for the small pox. 

July 17. — There is an account from New York of two men of war 
and some tender got up beyond the city, — the Phoenix, Capt. Parker, 
and the Rose, Capt Wallace. 

July 18, Thursday. — This day Independency was declared in Bos- 
ton from the balcony of the Council Chamber ; a great confusion in 

July 20. — This morning advertisements were put up for the inhabi- 
tants to meet on Monday next at ten in the morning in the Common. 

Jidy 21, Sunday. — I went to church this morning. Mr. Parker 
omitted the petitions in the Liturgy for the King and royal family, 
thinking it prudent. 

July 22-27. — [Visit, with Rev. Mr. Parker as companion, to Ports- 
mouth, N. H., on business, — the division of some goods, perhaps 
brought in by a privateer, — dining with old Judge Parker and Mr. Jos. 
Wentworth in that town, and with Tristram Dalton at " Newberry 
Old Town." " We were smoaked at Charlestown, but passed at New- 
berry bridge."] 

July 30. — [Capture of the ship Queen of England laden with pro- 
visions for General Howe's army, the ship belonging to Rowe's friend 
Jos. Squires of Plymouth.] 

August 1. — This day is appointed by the Congress as a fast to be 
observed throughout the Colonies. I went to church this morning. 
Mr. Pai'ker preached. 


jiug. 3. — [A ship captured by privateers, laden with 400 hogsheads 
of sugar.] 

^iig, 5. — Richard Green set out this morning for Brookfield for 4 
months exile, James Perkins for 4 months to Medfield, Nat. Gary do. to 
Dedham, John Timmins and Thos. Amory two months to AYaltham, 
William Perry 4 months to Medfield, and Nat. Briuly do. to 

Auff. 9. — [Captures by privateers.] 

Aug. 11, Sunday. — After service Mr. Parker read the proclama- 
tion of Independence. 

Aug. 14. — This day the Sons of Liberty kept the remembrance of 
it at John Marston's in King Street. 

Aug. 15. — I dined at home with Genl. Lincoln, Elbridge Gerry, 
Esq., one of the delegates to the Congress, and Mrs. Rowe, and spent 
the evening at home with her. 

Aug. 18, 19. — [Journey to Portsmouth for a law-suit, returning 
August 25. At Hampton " had the pleasure of the company of Mr. 
Ware, President of the Councill, who is a man of understanding."] 

Aug. 2L — This morning our tryall came on. After dinner I at- 
tended the court. Our attorney, Mr. Loel [John Lowell], deserves 
praise, and is a gentleman of merit, and so is Mr Pickering [John Pick- 
ering, of Portsmouth], who pleaded as advocate for the captors and 
against us. They had not time to finish, and adjourned untill the morn- 
ing. I spent the evening at Tilton's with my friends the other claim- 
ants, Sanil. Austin, Robt. Ruggles, Nat. Barrat, Mr. Fraser, Mr. Cyrus 
Baldwin, Colo. Leveret, his son, and a young gentleman sent by our 
councill with the papers. 

Aug. 22. — This morning our tryall came on again. The cause was 
given to the jury by Dr. Bracket, who is Judge of Admiralty. I dined 
at my worthy friend Mark Wentworth's, with him and his lady, my 
worthy friends Colo. Atkinson and Jonathan Warner, Esq., and Mr. 
King, a very sensible gentleman. This afternoon the jury brought in 
their verdict in our favour, viz., that the capture was not within the Act, 
and that the claimants ought to have their goods restored. This verdict 
is disliked by Capt. Manly, &c., and therefore he intends to move for 
an appeall. I spent the evening at Tilltons with Mr. Loell and our 
friends the claimants. 

Aug. 23. — I with the rest of the claimants have tryed to settle this 
affair with the agent and Capt. IManly, but to no purpose. I slept at 
old Colo. Warner's last night and this, and had a long conversation 
with him and his lady, who I found to be a very sensible old 

Aug. 2(5. — Yesterday was our wedding day. We have been married 
thirty three years. 

1895.] DIARY OF JOHN ROWE. 103 

Aug. 28. — Mr. Saml. Adams and Colo. Whipple of Portsmouth came 
to town from Philadelphia this morning. The claimants met this 
forenoon ; they chose a committee to report their cause to Saml. Adams, 
Esq., — myself, Mr. Saml. Austin, Capt. Saml. Partridge. 

Aug. 31. — The post says that Generall Howe has landed some of his 
troops on Long Island near Flat Bush, and that some skirmishes hud 
taken place. 

Sept. 5. — I attended the Court of Admiralty in Boston, Judge 
Pickering. The Rev*^ Mr. Payson paid me a visit. Severall skirmishes 
between the two armies at Long Island. Lord Sterling and Generall 
Sullivan are missing. 

Sept. 7. — Tis said the Continentall troops have left Long Island. 

Sept. 8, Sunday. — After church Colo. Langdon of Portsmouth 
paid me a visit. I spent the evening at home with Mr. Inman, Mrs. 
Inman, Mr. [Tristram] Dalton, and Mrs. Rowe. Several West India 
men carried into Providence by the Continental vessels. 

Sept. 10. — I dined at Deacon Jones the Coffee House on turtle. 
Present Genl. Lincoln, Mr. Mercer [of New York], Mr. James Otis, 
Mr. Inman, myself, Dan! Johnnot, Geo. Johnnot, Jona. Amory, Henry 
Bromfield, his son, Colo. Barber, his son, Thos. Russell, young Will- 
iams, Capt. Job Prince, his son, Colo. Moore, Mr. Loell [Lowell], 
Mr. Sara. Brick, Mr. Hammat, Mr. Ross of Jamaica, Mr. Grant of the 
Grenady (?), Mr. Grant of Antigua, Mr. Cambell, Capt. Barthlet, Colo. 
Jackson, Mr. Warner, Jos. Laughton, W™ Vans, John Gushing, Benj. 
Andrews, Henderson Inches, Hennan Brimmer, Martin Brimmer, And. 
Brimmer, Capt. John Bradford, Mr. Hastings, Capt. Thompson, Capt. 
White of Marblehead, Dr. Joseph Gardner, Major Ward, Major 
Wads worth, Wm, Davis, Edward Davis, Mr. Elnathan Jones, Mr. 
Plat, Mr. Eben"" Storer, Capt. Pascall Smith, Mr. Ezekiel Price, Mr. 
Jos. Barrell, Mr. Burges, Mr. Lindall Pitts, and Jos. Carnes. We 
were very joyfull. 

Sept. 14. — Tis said by the post, Mr. Mumpford, that the Conti- 
nentalls have appointed three gentlemen from their body to hold con- 
ferences with Lord Howe and his brother Generall Howe, viz. : Benj. 
Franklynn, Esq., Philadelphia, Mr. Rutledge of South Carolina, and 
Mr. John Adams of Massachusetts Bay in New England, Braintree. 

Sept. 17. — Yesterday the Independent Company made their appear- 
ance in the Common under the command of Colo. Jackson, and were 
reviewed by some of the Councill and Generall Ward and a number of 
other gentlemen. 

Sept. 20, Friday. — The Continentall troops evacuated New York on 
Sunday last. 

Sept. 21. — The post confirms the account of the army's evacuating 
the city of New York. 


Sept. 2A. — Went to Watertown with Capt. Joseph Cunningham, 
Mr. Parker and Mr. Warner, I had some business with the Councill. 
I dined at Mrs. Coolidge's with twelve gentlemen, Genl. Lincoln [and 
others]. Very bad news from Gen. Washington. The Connecticut 
militia behaved very badly and much to their discredit in an action that 
happened at Harlem on New York,^the 16"^ instant. 

Sept. 26. — liobt. Temple is come to town ; by him we hear from 
Geo. Inman and Capt. Linzee and Mrs. Linzee, the first at New York, 
the latter at Brunswick, Cape Fear River. 

Sept. 29. — People from New York bring accounts of one third part 
of that city being destroyed by fire on Fryday night, the 20"^ Septem- 
ber ; 'tis not yet ascertained how it happened. 

Oct. 4, 7, 13, 16. — [Captured vessels brought into Salem and New 

Oct. 13. — I paid Genl. Ward a visit this morning, and had an hour's 
conversation with him. 

Oct. 24. — Tis said the King's troops have landed at Frog's [Throg's] 
Point, near Westchester. 

JVov. 4. — [A very valuable prize brought in.] 

Nov. 7. — Mr. John Dean Whitworth came to town from the camp; 
he was taken prisoner near White Plains under the command of Major 

Nov. 17. — Turner came from Portsmouth and brought three waggon 
load of goods with him. 

[Vol. XIV. of the Diary, pp. 2258-2400, from Nov. 19, 1776, to 
Aug. 12, 1778, is missing.] 

1778. August 13. — An English fleet appeared oflF Rhode Island. 
The French Admiral Count d'Estaing is gone in quest of them ; this 
happened on Tuesday. 

AiirjHst 14. — Mr. Payson [Rev. Phillips Payson of Chelsea] brought 
Jack home this morning. A sad accident happened unto him: some 
boys were out a shooting ; one of them named Barthlet's gun went off 
accidentally, and shot Jack through his coat and lodged at least thirty 
shot in his right arm ; tis a great mercy he escaped with life. 

August 15. — Great damages in the country and town by the late 
storm, especially to the corn, fruit, and apples. Count d'Estaing's fleet 
not returned this morning. 

Aug. 20. — This day Count d'Estaing's fleet returned to their station 
off Newport ; tis said they have taken a friggate and a bomb ketch. 

Aug. 22. — A French man of war of 74 guns is got into Nantasket, 
having had a brush with an English 64 gun ship. The French captain 
is wounded. 

Aug. 24. — An account of Count d'Estaing's fleet leaving Newport 
harbour bound to Boston on Saturday last. 

1895.] DIARY OF JOHN ROWE. 105 

Aug. 26. — Gen' Hancock returned. 

Aug. 28. — This morning the French fleet came to an anchor in 
Nantasket Road, some of them dismasted. 

Aug. 29. — Some of d'Estaing's fleet came up into Boston harbour. 

Aug. 30, Sunday. — The Count d'Estaing came with his retinue on 
shore yesterday, and dined with Genl. Hancock. Two frigates were 
seen iu our bay this afternoon, supposed to be English. 

Aug. SI. — An express from Plymouth this morning giving an 
account of a fleet of twenty sail in our bay this morning. [Arrival of 
prizes ; Capt. Skimmer killed in an engagement with a letter of marque 

Sept. 1. — The fleet appearing again in our bay has alarmed the 
people, that the whole of the militia are ordered under arms. Gen. 
Sullivan and his whole army have retired from Rhode Island, having 
had a smart engagement with the British troops there under the com- 
mand of Gen' Piggot. 

Sept. 2. — Severall people taken up and put on board the prize ship, 
particularly Mr. Shirley and Capt. Callahan. The militia under arms 
again twice this day, and a constant guard kept up. I met the Pro- 
prietors of Point Shirly this day. The French Admirall wants to be 
accommodated with the houses for an hospital for his people, upwards 
of 700 being sick of the scurvy. 

Sept. 5. — Colo. Crafts came to town with his regiment this morning, 
"We met them on the road [to Dedliam]. 

Sept. 7. — Jack Rowe went to Chelsea this morning. The English 
have sent a party to [New] Bedford, and burnt it on Saturday night, 
together with the shipping and stores in that harbor. 

Sept. 10. — I dined at home with the Hon''''' Jery Powell, Presi- 
dent of our Councill, and Mrs. Rowe. 

Sept. 11. — High training this day. Gen. Hancock treated the 
Council and all his officers, many other gentlemen, at Capt. Marston's. 
The dinner was very clever. I dined there, and spent the evening at 
home with Capt. Haskins and Mrs. Rowe. 

Sept. 13, Sunday. — The Rev. Dr. Elliot dyed this morning, much 

Sept. 20, Sunday. — Mr. Parker preached a very serious and good 
sermon ; he mentioned the character of that good and worthy man, 
the Rev. Dr. Elliot. 

Sept. 22. — We have heard this day from George [Inman] and Sucky 
[Mrs. Linzee], who are well at New York. 

Sept. 23. — Many prizes have arrived yesterday and this day in this 
harbour. The Count d'Estaing with his officers, &c., made a grand 
appearance yesterday ; they paid a visit to the Generall Court, and were 
escorted by a committee of both Houses on their landing at the Long 
Wharff. 14 


Sept. 25. — The Count d'Estaing dined with the Councill and House 
this day. 

Sept. 26. — Count d'Estaing dined with Genl. Heath this day. 

Oct. 6. — I dined at home with the Chevalier De Borda, Monsieur 
Gondelose (?) Admiral's Secretary, Mr. Holker, Colo. Badcock, and 
Mrs. Rowe, We have tryed our new horses ; they prove very well. 

Oct. 20. — Colo. Revere brought me a letter from Saml. Gould, who 
is arrived in a cartell from New York. This morning my negro Mar- 
cellus made his appearance in our kitchen, and a very frightfull one it 
was. [The entry for Nov. 1, 1778, is, "My negro man Marcellus 
died this day."] 

Oct. 22. — Mr. Sampson Salter Blowers sent to gaol this afternoon ; 
Mr. Francis Johnnot sent yesterday. 

Oct. 24. — I dined at Mr. Holker's, with him, Capt. Landy of the 
Alliance, Capt. IngersoU of the Dean, Colo. Adam Badcock, Mr. 
Thomas Cushiiig, Mr. Thomas Cushing, jun., General Warren, and 
Mr. Martin Brimmer. This afternoon Mr Inman, Mrs Inman, and 
Mr. Haskins set out for Providence. 

Oct. 29. — Genl. Hancock invited all the gentlemen of the French 
fleet to a grand ball at Concert Hall ; many gentlemen and ladies of the 
town were there, and made a good appearance. 

Oct. 30. — The Council with a number of other gentlemen dined on 
board the Languedock, Count d'Estaing. 

Nov. 5. — The Count d'Estaing sailed yesterday from the port. This 
evening came news that the Somerset man of warr was cast away on 
the back of Cape Cod. 

Nov. 6. — General Gates came to town this day from Hartford. 

Nov. 8. — I went to pay my compliments to Genl. Gates this day. 

Nov. 12. — A gentleman and an Indian came from Qnebeck tli rough 
the Eastern country by land, and brought me a letter from my brother 

Nov. 14. — A great number of the Somerset's men are come to town 
from Cape Cod. 

Nov. 17. — Town meeting this day about Capt. Pepper and young 
Francis Johnnot. 

Nov. 29. — A seaman by name Herring belonging to Chagford in 
England came to our house and told me many things about my rela- 
tions and friends there, which pleased me. 

Dec. 5. — Mr. Sandford from Bedford brings us the bad news of 
our brigg Peace and Harmony, Capt. Lawrence, being taken, and by 
chance is got into Bedford. 

Dec. 9. — Our new brigg got ashore and overset coming round from 
Portsmouth on the Devil's Back. 

Dec. 11. — I dined at home, with Jery Powell, President of the 

1895.] DIARY OF JOHN ROWE. 107 

Council, Henry Gardner, Esq., Treasurer, Thos. Gushing, Esq., Judge 
of Probate, the Revei'end Mr. Parker, and Mrs. Rowe. 

Dec. 19. — A notification appeared yesterday at the Town House 
threatening some people which bought flour at vendue. 

Dec. 25, Christmas day. — The coldest morning as by the thermom- 
eter for forty years; a thin congregation. 

Dec. 31. — The General Arnold privateer is lost in the late storm at 
Plymouth, and upwards of eighty of the crew perished ; also the Gen. 
Stark's privateer at Nantucket, and upwards of twenty of their crew 

1779. Jan. 10. — A very melancholly affair happened last evening. 
Mr. Benj. Andrews, a worthy good man, shot himself by mere accident.^ 

Jan. 13. — A town meeting this morning. The inhabitants of this 
town are in great distress for want of corn, flour, &c. — A committee 
of nine were chosen to consult the best methods to be taken for their 
immediate relief [names of committee given, including Rowe]. 

Jan. 16. — Town meeting again this morning. A committee of 
eighteen [Rowe and others] were chosen to provide corn, flour, &c., 
for the poor and distressed inhabitants of this town. We met this 
afternoon, and adjourned untiil Monday 11 of clock. 

Jan. 20. — I attended town meeting this morning. The calling in 
two emissions of money occasions much uneasiness. 

Feb. 4. — Afternoon I paid a visit to Genl. Gates and his lady. 

Feh. 19. — I dined at home with my worthy friend Tristram Dalton, 
Esq., of Newberry Port, Mrs. Rowe, and Jack Rowe. The committee 
for purchasing flour, &c., met this afternoon at Faneuil Hall. 

Feb. 24. — The committee met this morning and applyd to Gov- 
ernment about the distressed situation of this town respecting bread, 
flour, &c. 

Feb. 27, March 1, 5, 6. — [Committee meetings.] 

March 6. — A considerable skirmish in the Jerseys between a party 
sent out from New York and General Maxwell, the advantage in 
favour of Genl. Maxwell. 

April 16. — [The Continental frigate Warren had taken several 
armed British vessels carrying troops and stores. "A bonfire and great 
rejoycing on this occasion."] 

May 5. — This day town meeting. The following gentlemen were 
chosen representatives : John Hancock, Saml. Addams, Thomas 
Dawes, Thos. Walley, W'" Tudor, Caleb Davis, and Gustavus Fellows. 

June 1. — [A party, after dining at Stephen Cleverly's, "all went 
with Mr. Parker a-haymaking."] 

June 11. — Genl. Heath gone this day. 

1 He was shot accidentally by Benj. Hichborn. Samuel Breck's " Recollec- 
tions," p. 22. 


June 13, Sunday. — After church the proprietors met; they voted 
our church vacated by Mr. Walter. 12 yeas, 4 nays. 

June 15. — I began to mow my pasture this morning. Merchants' 

June 17. — Body meeting. 

June 19. — Merchants' meeting dissolved. Every day this week my 
time has been taken up with the merchants ; part of the hay got in. 

June 20, Sunday. — Mr. Parker was chosen the incumbent minister 
of Trinity Church this afternoon ; voters present, 23. 

June 22. — I got all my hay in yesterday. Good news from the 

July 8. — Bad accounts from New Haven in Connecticut State. 

July 9. — [Prizes brought in.] 

July 11, Sunday. — Mr. Parker read the address of Congress. 

July 12. — A furious press this morning to man the fleet. The 
delegates from the trading towns met this morning. 

July 13. — Bad intelligence from Connecticut. I devoted my whole 
time this day with the delegates from the trading towns. 

July 15. — A Body meeting this day. Dr. [Isaac] Rand before 
them and examined. The remainder of the fleet got into Nantasket 
Road, so that they [are] now ready for sea. Capt, Jenkins arrived 
from France this day. 

July 18, Sunday. — [The last entry of the Diary.] 








March 14, 1895. 



mnibetsitg i^ress. 








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